Washington no longer wants to force TikTok to sell its US assets

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Washington has decided to abandon plans to force Chinese group ByteDance to sell US operations of the popular TikTok app to Oracle and Walmart groups, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The new Biden administration, however, has not yet finalized the response it intends to provide to this case, the newspaper adds, citing anonymous sources.

The government is reviewing efforts by former President Donald Trump to address potential national security risks posed by Chinese technology companies, including collecting data from U.S. users.

Discussions continue between ByteDance and US officials, says the Wall Street Journal.

They focus on data security and how to keep information from US TikTok subscribers from being accessible to the Chinese government.

Any deal will be different from the solution the Trump administration envisioned last September, sources told the WSJ.

Believing that TikTok poses a threat to “US national security,” the Trump administration demanded that the popular light-weight video-sharing app go under the American flag.

Donald Trump had thus given his agreement in principle to an offer from ByteDance providing for Oracle and Walmart to take 20% of the shares of a company named TikTok Global, in charge of the platform’s global activities and headquartered in the United States. United.

But relatives of the president had estimated that American investors should exercise majority control over the new entity.

ByteDance’s position had subsequently evolved, with the group proposing the creation of a company to house its American activities, which suggested that it would be ready to give up its majority.

Contacted by AFP, the Treasury, the Ministry of Commerce, TikTok and Oracle did not respond immediately. Walmart declined to comment.

It all started with a decree passed last August under several national emergency laws to demand action against TikTok, which claims 100 million users in the United States.

The administration accused TikTok of spying for the benefit of the Chinese government, accusations the group rejected.

An ongoing legal battle ensued as Washington appealed at the end of December against a court ruling preventing the Department of Commerce from imposing restrictions on TikTok, which would have resulted in the social network being banned from United States.

Any agreement ByteDance concludes will also be subject to approval by Beijing, which places restrictions on exports of technology developed by Chinese companies.

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