After reputedly blowing past the Trump administration’s cut-off date for TikTok to discover a new owner, the US authorities has quietly given the embattled social media platform a reprieve.
TikTok will now have some other 15 days, until Nov. 27, to persuade US countrywide protection officers that its proposed deal with Oracle (ORCL) and Walmart have to be approved, in accordance to a court docket filing.
Thursday was once supposed to be the drop-dead date for TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, to divest the social media company, underneath an executive order signed by President Donald Trump this summer.
But as the cut-off date got here and went, confusion reigned over what consequences may be in store for TikTok. Trump’s govt order did no longer say that TikTok would be banned if it missed the deadline; in fact, it outlines no penalties at all. The order’s ambiguity highlights the extraordinarily uncommon method the Trump administration has taken with one of the world’s fastest-growing social media platforms, which has one hundred million customers in the United States alone.
On Friday morning, however, TikTok instructed a federal choose that the US government had granted the company’s request for an extension. The go doesn’t unravel the remarkable questions facing the agency — it need to nevertheless battle for its proposed deal and is embroiled in litigation over Trump’s earlier attempted restrictions such as a ban from US app stores — but it offers TikTok with some brief respiratory room.
TikTok declined to comment.
What was once supposed to happen?
After Trump decried TikTok as a danger to countrywide safety — a claim the organisation has denied and cybersecurity specialists doubt — he issued an executive order in August that would have made it unlawful to have any enterprise dealings with the company.
The US Commerce Department tried to implement that order by trying to ban downloads of the app in September. The organisation additionally stated that by means of mid-November, internet companies would be banned from carrying TikTok’s traffic.
Both of these measures have been briefly blocked by means of federal judges after TikTok and TikTok content creators sued in separate instances to prevent them from going into effect.
But that nevertheless left a 2nd executive order, which required ByteDance to divest TikTok by Nov. 12. The order did not say what the deal wished to seem to be like, nor did it spell out what TikTok have to do to preserve running in the United States. It additionally didn’t say what would take place have to TikTok fail to be offered with the aid of the deadline.
Even so, TikTok scrambled to tackle the order, sooner or later coming up with a provisional deal with Oracle and Walmart. The proposal would see TikTok reorganized as a new, global business enterprise headquartered in the United States, with US investors accounting for a majority of the new company’s ownership.
Trump tentatively approved that deal in September when it was once announced. But the association has yet to be finalized with the aid of the US government. (It would additionally nonetheless want to be greenlit by using Chinese regulators.)
This week, as the Nov. 12 closing date loomed, TikTok asked a federal court to step in and void the order.
TikTok will have another 15 days to get its deal done. Until then, we’re nonetheless in a keeping pattern. Users will nonetheless be capable to get entry to the app, because the Trump administration’s tried ban has been temporarily blocked amid the litigation.