TikTok sale to Walmart and Oracle shelved
Last year in September, TikTok reached a deal with Oracle and Walmart to avoid its US ban. The Trump administration had approved the deal, which was supposed to effectively establish a new company called TikTok Global headquartered in the US. Tiktok was given the December 4 sale deadline, which came and went with no response from the outgoing Trump administration. Reportedly, Trump also demanded that the US Treasury get a “lot of money” from any sale.
Now, it seems like President Biden has other plans. According to Wall Street Journal sources, TikTok’s forced sale to Oracle and Walmart has been put on hold “indefinitely”. The step comes as Biden reviews past efforts to handle security risks from Chinese technology companies. While the officials haven’t ruled out a sale, it might happen under different terms or might not happen at all.
The Biden administration might make a decision on TikTok soon. The government is yet to offer a formal response to TikTok’s legal challenge against the divestiture on February 18. We are yet to see what the official stance will be.
TikTok is said to be in talks with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) to resolve security concerns. It is being reported that an alternative to a sale might involve sending data to a “trusted” third party in a bid to combat the allegations of sending Americans’ information to the Chinese government. However, the Chinese government would prevent TikTok parent ByteDance from exporting the algorithms the app uses to recommend videos.