No more extensions for ByteDance as Friday’s deadline passed with no deal for TikTok
According to Bloomberg, this past Friday a deadline given TikTok parent ByteDance by the Trump administration to divest itself of TikTok's U.S. operations expired. No deal was announced and the Trump administration, which had previously extended several previous deadlines, will not do so again. That's not to say that discussions on a deal aren't still taking place. Previously there was talk about ByteDance selling part of its American operations to a team made up of Oracle Corp., Walmart Inc. and U.S. investors Sequoia Capital, KKR & Co. and General Atlantic. A new firm called TikTok Global would be created and based in the U.S.
As the president has demanded, the new company would be controlled by U.S. firms instead of outfits based in China. According to people knowledgeable about what is happening, the Trump administration is trying to get this deal completed before it leaves the White House on January 20. It isn't clear how the Biden administration will act toward Chinese companies that have been considered national security threats in the states such as Huawei and TikTok. A week ago, the Treasury gave ByteDance an extra week so that it could review new documents submitted for review. A Treasury spokesman said on Friday that the the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.(CFIUS) was working with ByteDance to finish the divestiture to solve issues about U.S. national security.
TikTok is a short-form video app that has been installed over 100 million times in the states, about two billion times globally. The app has approximately 50 million daily active users in the U.S. where subscribers create 15 second to 60 second videos with subjects related to lip syncs, dances, funny pranks and more. Teens installed the app in large numbers during the pandemic to help them kill time.
China will also have to approve any divestiture of TikTok in the U.S. by ByteDance. State owned media has complained about Trump's order forcing the divestiture of ByteDance's U.S. operations with a foreign ministry spokesman calling it bullying. TikTok has challenged the possible ban by filing multiple times in U.S. courts and several judges have temporarily blocked the app from getting banned in the U.S. and removed from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. All of the legal action forcing the removal of TikTok in the states could simply disappear next month when Joe Biden is sworn in as president.