President Trump issued an executive order Friday giving ByteDance 90 days to either sell or spin off its TikTok business in the US.
“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 order, which references national security concerns. ByteDance is based in China, and the Trump administration has recently suggested that the company could share information about Americans with the Chinese government. The company has denied it does so.
The original order would have likely forced Apple to remove TikTok from from the App Store, potentially around the entire world. The latest order buys more time for ByteDance to work out the details of the sale of TikTok’s United States operations to a US company such as Microsoft. The original deadline for such a deal was September 20, but ByteDane will now have until November 12.
Furthermore, as part of the new executive order, Trump says that ByteDance will destroy all TikTok data associated with United States users and inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States when this process is completed.
Even with this new executive order, TikTok is likely still planning a legal challenge to the Trump Administration’s efforts. Last week, ByteDance said that such an order from the US government shows “no adherence to the law.”
Meanwhile, Trump yesterday offered a response to concerns from Apple that a separate ban on WeChat could impact iPhone sales. Trump doubled down on the national security concerns and said a simple “whatever” to Apple’s concerns. As of right now, it appears that the original 45-day executive order still applies to Tencent.