TikTok granted 15-day extension to reach deal with US buyers

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Popular video-sharing app TikTok was granted by the U.S. government a 15-day extension to reach a deal with U.S. buyers, a federal court filing showed Friday.

Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2020 shows a logo of TikTok's Los Angeles Office in Culver City, Los Angeles County, the United States. (Xinhua)

This means the deadline for ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent company, to reach a deal with Oracle and Walmart has been extended from Nov. 12 to Nov. 27, according to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Treasury Spokesperson Monica Crowley said in a statement that this extension will give the parties and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) additional time to resolve this case in a manner that complies with the president's order.

On Aug. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning U.S. transactions with TikTok and ByteDance after 45 days, citing national security concerns.

On Aug. 14, Trump signed another executive order that forces ByteDance to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days, setting the deadline of Nov. 12, Thursday.

"There is absolutely no evidence that TikTok poses a threat to U.S. national security," Gary Hufbauer, a former U.S. Treasury official and nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told Xinhua earlier.

"The claim is based on speculation that any mobile device with a Chinese app can be used to spy on Americans," Hufbauer said. "Paranoia pure and simple."

In September, Trump gave a preliminary approval for ByteDance to sell the app to U.S. buyers, and then a potential deal among ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart emerged. However, the U.S. administration offered no feedback in nearly two months.

TikTok said in a statement earlier that it had asked the U.S. government for a 30-day extension because it was "facing continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted."

On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department said it will not enforce an order to ban TikTok "pending further legal developments," citing a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled on Oct. 30 that she found the U.S. government's "own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical," and therefore she could not find that "the risk presented by the government outweighs the public interest in enjoining" the ban.