President Trump Warns No Extension To TikTok Sale Deadline

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Sell up or shutdown. ByteDance’s 15 September deadline to sell TikTok operation will not be extended, President Trump warns

US President Donald Trump has issued a blunt warning to the Chinese owner of the popular short video app TikTok.

On 6 August President Donald Trump had signed an executive order that will prohibit US companies from carrying out TikTok-related deals with ByteDance after 45 days (on 15 September).

The executive order against TikTok (and WeChat owner Tencent) was because the US believes they pose a national security risk because the app collects data on users, which “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

Sell or Shutdown

The US President has effectively banned TikTok unless its US operations are sold to a domestic company by that date.

President Trump has also said he expects the United States to get a “very large percentage” of the sale price.

Since that ultimatum, ByteDance has been in talks with a number of potential acquirers including Microsoft, Walmart, Oracle and Twitter, while some of its US investors may also join the bid.

Despite a number of suitors, ByteDance is also suing the US government over the executive order, but time for a sale to happen is fast approaching.

ByteDance bought Shanghai-based Musical.ly in 2017 and used it as the basis for TikTok, which became the first Chinese social media app to become broadly popular in the US.

And President Trump seems to be in no mood to extend his Tuesday 15 September deadline, when he said the deadline would not be extended.

No extension

“It’ll either be closed up or they’ll sell it,” President Trump was quoted by Reuters as telling reporters before leaving for Michigan. “There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With the prospect of a US shutdown looming, the American face of TikTok, CEO Kevin Mayer, stepped after just two months in charge, citing the sharply changed political environment.

And it is not just in America where ByteDance faces issues.

The company has also been targeted in India, where TikTok was one of 59 Chinese apps banned by the Indian government in June following a border clash between India and China that resulted in a number of deaths.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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