Initiated by Donald Trump this summer, the sale of the American activities of TikTok, owned by the Chinese giant ByteDance, seems to be on course to fall to his successor at the White House, Joe Biden, while the deadline set for this sale has just been exceeded .
The deadline for the proposed resale of TikTok’s activities in the United States was reached on Friday, December 4, but with no final agreement having been signed. A problematic and confusing situation for the Trump administration, which had nevertheless postponed this deadline on several occasions, and which had even been forced to pause, last month, the embargo against the application.
Today, according to an anonymous source mentioned by Bloomberg, setting a new deadline for the resale of TikTok’s US activities would no longer be relevant. Discussions between the video-sharing platform and the Trump administration are nevertheless still underway to find a buyer as quickly as possible who can allay the fears of the authorities in terms of national security and data protection. The two axes on which the main part of Donald Trump’s argument against the application of Chinese ByteDance has been based in recent months.
A race against time begins for the Trump administration
According to Bloomberg, the US Department of the Treasury (which partly oversees the case) said ByteDance would not be fined or sanctioned for passing the fateful date without a resale agreement for TikTok. The fact remains that it is a real race against time which is now underway for the Trump administration, which will have (despite the bluster of Donald Trump) to hand over the reins to the government of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
Note that TikTok has initiated several legal actions against the American authorities to avoid the ban, with some success. Some of these cases are still pending and may ultimately go to trial under the Biden trial. It would then be up to Joe Biden and his teams to defend Trump’s positions in court, or on the contrary to let these various cases lapse.
As a reminder, Trump had given his agreement in September for a takeover of TikTok’s activities across the Atlantic by a group called TikTok Global. The latter was formed by Oracle, Walmart, and US investors Sequoia Capital, KKR & Co. and General Atlantic. A buyout project that quickly got bogged down, before being taken over by the upsurge in COVID-19 in the United States and especially by the presidential elections.