U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday directing Chinese-owned ByteDance to divest or spinoff its U.S. TikTok operations within 90 days, effectively giving the company a reprieve from the previous deadline of Sept 15.
“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance Ltd., an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands (“ByteDance”), through acquiring all interests in musical.ly, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands (“Musical.ly”), might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” read the order.
Under the latest order, ByteDance is expected to destroy all its copies of TikTok data attached to U.S. users, and inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when it has destroyed all that data, reported CNBC.
Microsoft has shown interest in the deal, and Twitter is rumored to be interested. With possible anti-trust action pending against certain big-tech companies due to censorship of conservative content, it is unclear what impact this development will have on any possible negotiations.
Also, many American big-tech companies are in bed with the Chinese Communist Party in developing the type of surveillance malware for Chinese citizens that the Trump administration is concerned with regarding TikTok. It is unclear is this factor is being considered by The White House.
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