The US won’t ban TikTok after all

Ninety days after the Trump administration placed the massive video sharing-site on choke-hold following the signing of an executive order last, Tiktok is pretty much alive and well in the American social media market, even after its supposed ban that was set to take place last week.

The supposed ban came after U.S. President Donald Trump himself claimed of a potential threat of the data collection of the Chinese-owned social media company. This threat would supposedly will “allow the Chinese Communist Party access to American’s personal and proprietary information—potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.” (READ: TikTok illegally tracked Android user data in latest privacy issue)

Tiktok vehemently denied these allegations and has contested the “lack of due process” that the Trump administration has followed throughout the entire debacle. “What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the Administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses,” a Titktok’s spokesperson stated.

As a bail-out from the impending ban, Tiktok’s was originally set to be sold from ByteDance to an American company in what Vox characterized as a “complicated deal,” one that would have involved other big U.S. companies, such as Walmart, Oracle as well as other American investors. The deal, however, had yet to be closed as of reporting time.

In a court filing dated last November 13, 2020, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which has jurisdiction over concerns regarding acquisitions made by foreign companies in the U.S. and oversees and handles the current issue on Tiktok, has allowed the company another 15 days to settle its deal and sort out all the issues that the Trump administration has pressed upon the company.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Treasury mentioned the extension will allow ByteDance and Tiktok “additional time to resolve this case in a manner that complies with the order.”

“The Commerce department on the other hand has also put the enforcement of Trump’s ban on Tiktok on hold, citing that the department wouldn’t proceed and will wait for “further legal developments,” it added.

The new deadline is set for November 27.

On what will happen on the 27th of November? Ideally, by the time the clock hits 12 midnight, Tiktok should have sold or divested its ownership to a US company, most likely the combined Walmart, Oracle entity which rumors suggest will take control of a combined 20 percent from Tiktok according to a concept that President Trump has agreed upon.

Questions still loom however on whether or not the ban will still push through as the latest deadline extension will be the 2nd of its kind and marks more than 3 months since the original shutdown was set to take place and with the shift of administration as a result of the US presidential election.

As the U.S. enters a new administration in 2021 with president-elect Joe Biden soon to be taking over the white house, the issue of whether or not Tiktok and other Chinese-owned social networking sites will continue to operate in the U.S. remains a hot one. Even president-elect Biden has called the Chinese-owned site as a “matter of genuine concern.”


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