|It is unclear when and how the US government forced ByteDance to divest from the TikTok app. Photo: AFP|
Reuters quoted a US Treasury representative as late on December 4 (US time) that the US Foreign Investment Commission (CFIUS) “is working with ByteDance to promote the completion of the company’s divestment. this and other steps necessary to address national security risks.
Last week, the US Foreign Investment Commission extended a week for ByteDance – TikTok’s parent company – to divest its TikTok business in the US market.
According to the decree of President Trump issued in August 2020, the US administration granted the Justice Department the right to execute the divestment order at TikTok after the deadline for the divestment of ByteDance ended. However, it is unclear when and how the US government will force ByteDance to divest from TikTok.
A source familiar with Reuters said that Trump was believed to have personally made the decision to ask ByteDance to divest without further approving any further extension requests to ByteDance at the meeting of senior officials. America.
The US government had previously twice extended 15 and 7 days against ByteDance’s request to divest from TikTok in the US within 90 days by the presidential decree of President Trump, that is, November 12. The US Department of Justice and the White House have not yet commented on this issue, and TikTok declined to comment.
Washington accused TikTok of the source of national security risks because personal data of US users could be transferred to the Chinese government. TikTok currently has a user base of up to 100 million in the US, but this unit denies the allegations of stealing users’ information.
Under pressure from the US government, ByteDance has negotiated to finalize agreements with Walmart and Oracle over the past several months on the establishment of a new business unit to divest in TikTok at the request of the US government.
Last week, ByteDance issued a new proposal aimed at addressing the US government’s security concerns. ByteDance said the company has submitted four proposals related to divestments in TikTok in the US market, of which 1 proposal was submitted in November on “the creation of a new, fully owned unit. Oracle, Walmart and current US investors in ByteDance, and the new unit will be responsible for processing TikTok user data in the US and censoring content.
In September, TikTok announced that the unit had reached a preliminary agreement for Walmart and Oracle to hold stakes in a new company to oversee TikTok operations in the US. In November, ByteDance filed a petition to the US Court of Appeals against the Trump administration’s divestment order and said it intends to “continue to execute the divestment order if negotiations come to an end. deadlock and the US government shows its intention to actually enforce the decree “.
ByteDance argued that Trump’s decree sought to force ByteDance to fully divest itself at TikTok, a multi-billion dollar business built on technology developed by ByteDance.
Meanwhile, the US government is awkward in restricting TikTok application in this market. In September 2020, a federal judge in Washington blocked a ban on Apple and Google Alphabet from allowing the download of TikTok apps from the US app store, while another judge on October 30 also blocked. The US government’s measures to restrict the use of TikTok came into effect on November 12.
Expected, a US appeals court will hold a hearing to listen to arguments about banning the use of TikTok on December 14 to.