U.S. Treasury’s CFIUS Extends Deadline on TikTok Sale

The U.S. Treasury on Friday issued a statement announcing that its Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given ByteDance a 15-day extension of the deadline on the divestiture order that came and went on Nov. 12 related to its short-form video app, TikTok. This extension came on the heels of the Chinese company filing a petition with the D.C. Circuit Appeals Court seeking relief from the order, claiming that the government has been unresponsive even as the company has made efforts to comply. 

“The President’s August 14 Order requires ByteDance and TikTok Inc. to undertake specific divestments and other measures to address the national security risk arising from ByteDance’s acquisition of,” the statement from a Treasury spokesperson read in part. “Consistent with the Order, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has granted ByteDance a 15-day extension of the original November 12, 2020 deadline. This extension will provide the parties and the Committee additional time to resolve this case in a manner that complies with the Order.”

ByteDance had agreed to sell its interest in a deal announced earlier this year that included Oracle and Walmart, but that has since stalled, and TikTok subsequently took the government to court and won several preliminary injunctions that halted bans. A pending deadline on a ban due to ByteDance’s failure to divest itself of the app in the U.S. ultimately led to the company taking the fight to a federal appeals court in D.C.

The U.S. Commerce Department said that it would not enforce another order that was set to shut down the short-form video app. Having lost several battles in federal court – including one in Pennsylvania where a federal judge said that President Trump had likely overstepped in various actions against the Chinese-owned app – Commerce and other agency efforts have slowed efforts to take action against TikTok. 

While some media outlets have reported that President Trump “had forgotten his deadline” for banning TikTok on Nov. 12, Commerce has said that it is respecting federal rulings while it decides how to go forward. It also said in a statement last week that it wants a resolution on TikTok’s security issues, though TikTok claims that the government has not been communicating with the company to deal with any outstanding issues.

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