Trump orders TikTok parent ByteDance to sell within 90 days, destroy user data
TikTok also faces a federal class-action lawsuit over alleged misuse of U.S. user data.
President Trump ordered Chinese tech firm ByteDance on Friday night to divest all U.S. assets, including the popular TikTok app, within 90 days.
In the order, the Trump administration said that there is “credible evidence” to suggest that ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” The president has threatened in recent days to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. unless it is sold to an American company.
TRUMP OK WITH MICROSOFT BUYING TIKTOK
Aside from the divestment, Trump ordered ByteDance to destroy all U.S. user data within the 90-day window. The Committee on Foreign Investment can audit the company to confirm the data was deleted as required.
Trump's order seeks to void ByteDance's purchase of Musical.ly, the app that eventually became TikTok, after a review by The Committee on Foreign Investment.
ByteDance must inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in writing before completing any sale of TikTok and its other U.S. assets.
“As we've said previously, TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection,” the company said in a statement. “We're committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform for many years to come.”
The order appeared to extend Trump’s imposed deadline for a transaction. Earlier this month, Trump issued an order that would bar transaction between U.S. entities and TikTok, effectively shuttering the app, if ByteDance did not sell its U.S. business within 45 days.
The Trump administration has long argued that TikTok puts the private data of Americans at risk.
"We are shocked by the recent executive order, which was issued without any due process," TikTok said in a statement on Aug. 7. "For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the U.S. government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed."
TIKTOK TRACKED USER DATA USING TACTIC BANNED BY GOOGLE
Microsoft has emerged as a leading candidate to buy TikTok. Apple has publicly denied interest in acquiring the social media platform.
Trump has signaled that he would approve if Microsoft bought TikTok.
TikTok’s spat with the Trump administration is one of several ongoing legal issues for the embattled platform.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS
The company faces a federal class-action lawsuit in which parents based in several states allege that TikTok steals data from underage users and sends it to servers in China, NPR reported. TikTok has denied any wrongdoing.
In an amended filing late Friday night, lawyers alleged that TikTok had shared user viewing history data with Facebook and Google without their consent.