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ByteDance Gets 15-day Extension From U.S. Order To Divest TikTok

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration granted ByteDance a 15-day extension of a divestiture order that had directed the Chinese company to sell its TikTok short video-sharing app by Thursday, the company said in a court filing on Friday.

TikTok said it now has until Nov. 27 to reach an agreement. ByteDance has been in talks for a deal with Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to shift TikTok’s U.S. assets into a new entity.

The U.S Treasury did not immediately comment on Friday.

ByteDance filed a petition on Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the Trump administration divestiture order.

President Donald Trump in an Aug. 14 order had directed ByteDance to divest the app within 90 days.

The Trump administration contends TikTok poses national security concerns, saying the personal data of U.S. users could be obtained by China’s government. TikTok, which has over 100 million U.S. users, denies the allegations.

Trump has said the Walmart-Oracle deal had his “blessing.”

One big issue that has persisted is over the ownership structure of the new company, TikTok Global, which would own TikTok’s U.S. assets.

In Tuesday’s court filing, ByteDance said it submitted a fourth proposal last Friday that contemplated addressing U.S. concerns “by creating a new entity, wholly owned by Oracle, Walmart and existing U.S. investors in ByteDance, that would be responsible for handling TikTok’s U.S. user data and content moderation.”

Separate restrictions on TikTok from the U.S. Commerce Department have been blocked by federal courts, including restrictions on transactions that were scheduled to take effect on Thursday that TikTok warned could effectively ban the app’s use in the United States.

A Commerce Department ban on Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google offering TikTok for download for new U.S. users that had been set to take effect on Sept. 27 has also been blocked.

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