The Trump administration on Wednesday gave permission to Chinese owner of the short-form video application, ByteDance, until December 4 to sign a takeover agreement proposed by Oracle and Walmart, according to a Treasury Department spokesman.
“The U.S. Foreign Investment Commission (CFIUS) has granted ByteDance a week-long extension … to allow time to review the revised submission recently received by the Commission,” the spokesman said.
In his summer executive order, Trump set November 12 as a tough deadline for ByteDance to disconnect TikTok, which has more than 100 million users in the United States. But as the deadline came and passed, there was confusion about the consequences that TikTok might have. Trump’s executive order did not state that TikTok would be banned if it missed the deadline; in fact, it does not outline consequences at all.
Earlier this month, the U.S. government quietly extended that deadline by two weeks to Friday, November 27, and is now kicking the can.
TikTok did not respond immediately to the request for comments.
Trump described TikTok as a national security threat – a claim the company denied and questioned by cyber security experts – in August it issued another enforcement order that would have made it illegal to have any business relationship with the company.
The U.S. Department of Commerce tried to execute this order by trying to ban the download of the app in September. The agency also said it would ban Internet companies from forwarding TikTok traffic until mid-November.
Both measures were temporarily blocked by federal judges after being sued by TikTok and TikTok content creators in separate cases to prevent them from taking effect.
The solution proposed by ByteDance for the order, the agreement with Walmart and Oracle, will be reorganized as TikTok, a U.S.-based company with a majority stake in the new company, owned by U.S. investors.
Trump approved this convention in advance in September when it was announced. But the agreement has yet to be finalized by the U.S. government. (Chinese regulators should still be green.)
For the time being until next Friday, TikTok users will still be able to access the app, while the Trump Administration ban will continue to be suspended due to litigation.