Reportedly, TikTok’s parent company Bytedance is in talks with the US government about alternative ways to avoid selling its US assets.
The deadline the US government set for Bytedance / TikTok to sell its US assets is fast approaching. The Trump Administration ordered Bytedance to sell its US assets because it feared that the Chinese government would use the app to collect sensitive information about the US government and individuals. The official date is November 12. After that, TikTok will no longer be able to operate within the United States unless it sells its assets to a US company. Bytedance has been shopping around for companies. Reports suggested that Microsoft and Oracle are the most likely contenders to buy TikTok’s US assets. However, it appears Bytedance is trying to work something out with the US government so it can keep its assets.
Bytedance is considering other options
Bytedance was planning to sell its US assets. However, a move by the Chinese government forced the company to change its plans. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government last month issued restrictions on the export of artificial intelligence technology. This means that even if Bytedance were to sell its US assets before the deadline, it might not be able to complete the sale if it involved its algorithm.
The Journal reports that the talks between Bytedance and the US government aren’t set in stone. It is still possible that there will be a sale in the future. There are other options that might satisfy the Trump Administration. For instance, TikTok could work with a U.S. technology partner. The parter would take a minor stake in the company and provide its data security services.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department spokeswoman Monica Crowley, she told the Journal that the department “is focused solely at this time on discussions associated with the sale of TikTok in accordance with the Aug. 14 divestiture order signed by the President.”