US President Donald Trump has mandated TikTok in a new presidential regulation to sell his US division within 90 days. Last week, the president gave TikTok a deadline of 45 days for this. TikTok must also delete all data from US users.
Trump writes in the decree that there is “credible evidence” that Chinese TikTok parent company ByteDance “may take action that threatens to harm the national security of the United States.” The president gives ByteDance a sales deadline of 90 days from the publication of the decree. This gives the Chinese company until November 12 to divest its American TikTok division. On August 7, the White House issued a decree mentioning a September 20 deadline. ByteDance now has more time to complete a possible takeover.
The new regulation also states that ByteDance must delete all data from American TikTok users within these 90 days, and that this must be confirmed in writing by ByteDance to the Commission on Foreign Investments in the United States. The company must also delete any data it still holds from TikTok predecessor Musical.ly. The original decree of August 7 did not mention these requirements. Trump did write last week that data collection and Chinese censorship within TikTok were the main reasons for the decision. The Wall Street Journal recently investigated the data collection by TikTok. The medium then discovered that the Android app collected users’ unique mac addresses.
There are several possible candidates for an acquisition of TikTok. For example, Microsoft confirmed earlier this month that it is in talks with ByteDance about a possible acquisition. Twitter would also be interested in the social media platform. TikTok released a statement last week on Trump’s then-decree, in which the company says it is “shocked” at the decision. The company has not yet responded to the new August 14 presidential ordinance.