Following threats to ban TikTok, Donald Trump set a deadline of 90 days to its Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest itself from its U.S. ownership of TikTok, the White House announced Friday in an executive order.
“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump wrote in the executive order (EO), which served as an extension of sorts for the social media app following a 45-day divestment deadline weeks earlier.
As part of TikTok sale, the EO also demanded that ByteDance destroy all data connected to the app’s U.S. users, and then “certify in writing” to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States “that such destruction of data is complete.”
On August 6th, Trump issued a similar executive order to both TikTok parent company ByteDance and Chinese tech giant Tencent, owner of WeChat, in response to “the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China” and the security risk they allegedly pose.
At that time, Trump set a 45-day deadline, or September 15th, for a potential sale otherwise the app could face a government ban stateside. However, the Friday’s EO doubled the time frame for a deal to be worked out; Microsoft and Twitter are among TikTok’s rumored suitors.
TikTok said in a statement that the company had tried to assuage government concerns over the past year. “What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses,” the company said (via the Associated Press).