So, we’re coming to the end of the week and the TikTok-Oracle-Walmart deal isn’t looking any… clearer. There’s just over two days until Trump’s executive order goes into effect, banning any new downloads of the popular video-sharing app and, since the deal hasn’t come to fruition, it’s starting to look like the end of the road for TikTok.
But there is still time! Yesterday, a judge gave President Trump an order to either delay an order banning Chinese-owned TikTok from US app stores or file legal papers defending the ban. They need to file by 11:30 PT, otherwise Judge Carl Nichols said he will hold a hearing on Sunday morning to decide whether or not to grant TikTok’s request to postpone the ban.
Trump has consistently said that TikTok’s links to China, through its parent company ByteDance – poses a national security threat to the US, since many Chinese companies are at the whims of the Chinese Communist Party. However, TikTok says it never has and never will engage in any kind of spying if asked by the CCP.
Trump wants TikTok to sell its US operations into US hands by November 12. The deal which started this week would see Oracle and Walmart – an American tech company and retailer respectively – take part ownership of the app. This deal was given Trump’s blessing, at least until ByteDance publicly explained it would maintain 80% of the company until it went public next year. It was clear Trump wouldn’t be happy with this when he took an interview with Fox News, where he stated: “And it’s going to be totally controlled by Oracle … and if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal.”
Since then, it’s been murky waters and the date of TikTok in the US is still up in the air. But it seems we’ll have reached a somewhat definitive conclusion by Sunday. Hopefully, anyway – I don’t know how much longer I can keep up.