President Trump said he won’t give Chinese tech giant ByteDance any more time to sell TikTok’s US operations before the feds ban the popular app.
“We’ll either close up TikTok in this country for security reasons or it’ll be sold,” Trump told reporters Thursday before a trip to Michigan. “I’m not extending deadlines.”
The president’s comments added to the pressure for an American company to buy the short-video platform within weeks — an already difficult deal that the Chinese government has made more complex.
Trump said Thursday that the sale deadline was Sept. 15, suggesting the government was mere days away from shutting down TikTok in the US. But his Aug. 6 executive order banning transactions between ByteDance and American companies won’t take effect until Sept. 20.
ByteDance could have a tough time meeting that deadline because of new Chinese export rules that would likely subject the TikTok deal to a government licensing procedure there — a process that may take until after the Nov. 3 presidential election, according to Bloomberg News.
A separate order Trump issued Aug. 14 gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the app’s US operations, suggesting that it had until Nov. 12 to find an American buyer. TikTok’s suitors include Microsoft — which is working on a bid with Walmart — and software giant Oracle.
The White House did not immediately clarify which deadline was correct.
TikTok filed a lawsuit last month challenging the Trump administration’s efforts to force a sale amid concerns that Americans’ user data could be shared with China’s government, charges that TikTok has denied.
“TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it’s a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “We’re committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform for many years to come.”
A ByteDance spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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