President Trump has been very busy with his re-election campaign and, of late, dubious legal challenges to an election he’s lost. The world keeps spinning, however, and there’s a lot the president of the United States needs to do outside of campaigns and elections.
Why? The deadline the Trump administration issued for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app is fast approaching … yet TikTok says it hasn’t heard from the administration for weeks.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the agency responsible for reviewing possible national security issues related to foreign investments, claimed that TikTok’s China-based parent company, Bytedance, posed a threat to the U.S. due to potential security issues related to the Chinese government.
So the Trump administration laid out an ultimatum to Bytedance in August: sell TikTok or we will ban the app in the U.S.
The deadline for TikTok’s acquisition or ban is Nov. 12. Tomorrow. According to CFIUS, TikTok to “divest any tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support ByteDance’s operation of the TikTok application in the United States.”
TikTok has attempted to acquiesce to Trump’s demands. The company has agreed to sell a minority stake of the company and form a “technology partnership” with U.S.-based Oracle, whose co-founder, Larry Ellison, is a Trump supporter. While this should satisfy CFIUS, the deal between TikTok and Oracle has not yet closed. TikTok has applied for a 30-day extension to the Nov. 12 deadline, which the company is eligible to do according to the terms laid out by CFIUS. However, TikTok said in it’s statement that it has heard nothing from the U.S. government for “nearly two months.” And CFIUS has not laid out what exactly would happen on Nov. 12 if its demands weren’t met. Hence, TikTok’s petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for review.
“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” said TikTok in a statement posted to it’s Twitter account. “In the nearly two months since the president gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement – but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”
TikTok has been given temporary relief before by the courts. The Trump administration initially ordered app stores to ban the app in September, a decree that was by a federal judge who ruled that TikTok had not had enough opportunity to defend itself.
This is also not the first time President Trump appeared to have forgotten about his TikTok ban. Trump previously TikTok’s deadline to sell the company was in September, even though he had signed an extending the company’s deadline to Nov. 15.