The Trump administration on Wednesday again granted ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the light video app TikTok, another week to bring its activities in the United States under the American flag.
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The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) “has granted ByteDance a one-week extension, from November 27, 2020 to December 4, 2020, to allow time to consider a revised proposal recently received by the Committee. A spokesperson for the US Treasury Secretariat told AFP, without giving any further details.
This new deadline, after the 14-day deadline granted on November 13, pushes back the threat of an operating ban in the United States hanging over TikTok.
The future of TikTok has indeed been on hold in the United States since national security fears raised by the Trump administration in the summer. Donald Trump had signed a decree on August 14 obliging ByteDance to cede its American activities within 90 days under the guise of a threat to “the national security of the United States.”
Washington demands that ByteDance sell its assets in the United States to American companies or investors.
The social network, which denies the espionage accusations, had proposed, according to court documents consulted on November 13, to create a new company to host its American activities. This would be jointly owned by the IT group Oracle, as a technological partner, the distribution giant Walmart, as a business partner, and the American investors of ByteDance.
Donald Trump had given his agreement in principle in September to a first offer of ByteDance providing that Oracle and Walmart take 20% of the shares of a company named TikTok Global, responsible for the global activities of the platform and whose headquarters would be based in the States -United.
But reluctance had quickly emerged, some in the entourage of the American president judging that ByteDance would keep control of the new company.
TikTok and its allies then launched a real legal offensive to resist pressure from the Trump administration, which has so far resulted in legal success.
Any agreement ByteDance concludes with Washington will be subject to approval by Beijing, which places restrictions on exports of technology developed by Chinese companies.
The famous TikTok algorithm, which displays the content most likely to interest users according to their tastes, is the center of attention. China wants to prevent this precious computer system from falling into the hands of the United States.
TikTok has 100 million users in the United States and 700 million worldwide.