TikTok faces November 12 deadline that could result in the app getting banned in the U.S.
Meanwhile, a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols on September 27th prevented the U.S. government from forcing the Apple App Store and Google Play Store from removing their listings for TikTok. The latter is not even close to being out of the woods in the states. First of all, the current injunction is temporary and another Trump-signed executive order against TikTok and ByteDance takes effect on November 12th. This order will shut down TikTok in the U.S. if there is no deal to divest the popular app by then. According to a schedule released by the court, no ruling on any legal matter before the court in relation to TikTok will be issued until late next month at the earliest.
What’s holding up the deal are questions about majority ownership of the new company; additionally, China needs to approve the transaction and the country now bans the export of Chinese-made algorithms to other countries. TikTok uses such an algorithm to determine what videos subscribers can see. This technology reportedly would not be included in any deal between ByteDance, Oracle, and Walmart.
As with most Chinese tech firms that operate some sort of business in the states, the U.S. government considers TikTok and it’s parent company to be national security threats because of their perceived close ties with the Communist Chinese government. Even though there never has been any proof that any of these firms (such as Huawei and ZTE) have backdoors built into their products in order to obtain personal data. In the case of TikTok specifically, the fear is that 100 million Americans could be at risk of having this information sent to a server owned by the Communist Chinese government.