Social networks have repeatedly come under scrutiny by the US government but few are in danger of going out of business as TikTok is. Granted, the popular short video sharing platform would be able to continue its operations outside of the US in the worst-case scenario but losing such a large market could be fatal to the fledgling company. Thrice it has escaped a complete ban in the US but even as the final deadline lapses, TikTok remains in limbo even more than before.
TikTok was originally given a November 12 deadline to come up with a deal that would satisfy the US government’s concerns over the data of its citizens in the hands of China. That deadline was extended by 15 days and then another seven days. That last date is already passed but TikTok’s fate has not yet been decided.
Unlike the previous cases, Reuter’s sources report that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, won’t be given yet another deadline. The good news for the company is that it won’t be fined or penalized for missing the deadline, probably because it isn’t ByteDance’s fault entirely. The government is still in the process of reviewing ByteDance’s revised proposal.
Although not privy to the negotiations and deliberations happening behind the scenes, the core content of the proposed deal is pretty much known at this point. ByteDance is agreeing to divest its US operations and hand it over to a consortium of US companies that include the likes of Oracle and Walmart. That still depends on China also approving the deal, and the sentiment from the other world superpower isn’t all that positive.
The US Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or CIFUS says that it is still discussing matters with ByteDance, implying that negotiations are still ongoing despite the deadline lapse. That, unfortunately, puts TikTok in an even more uncertain state as the decision could come at any time without giving it and especially its users in the US much time to prepare.