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Trump ordered at the weekend that ByteDance must disconnect from all data from users in the United States within three months. Bytedance is also no longer allowed to own any property in the USA that is used to operate TikTok.
The deadline can be extended once for up to 30 days. The ruling thus sets a tighter time frame for the ongoing negotiations about the sale of TikTok’s US business.
Trump had already banned US Americans from doing business with TikTok with reference to data security, but suspended the execution of the order until mid-September. If it takes effect, that would mean the end of the app in the USA. Together with the new ruling, this means that a deal must be agreed by mid-September – and completed by mid-December at the latest.
Microsoft is currently negotiating with Bytedance to take over the TikTok business in the USA and several other countries. According to a media report, Twitter is also said to have had talks about TikTok. TikTok claims to have 100 million users in the US.
The government in Washington has been warning for some time that data from US Americans could get into the hands of Chinese authorities via TikTok. TikTok assures that the Chinese government has no access to user data and has never asked for it. The data of US users would be stored and processed in the USA. Disney manager Kevin Mayer, who has long been the crown prince of the US group, was recently brought in as the head of TikTok.
In his new ruling, Trump formally targeted Bytedance’s purchase of the Musical.ly app, which would later become TikTok. The President prohibited the transaction, which was completed in 2017. The basis for this was a procedure at the CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), which reviews foreign investments in the USA.
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