President Donald Trump gave ByteDance 90 days to sell the U.S. assets of TikTok, due to “credible evidence” that the Chinese parent company presents a threat to the country’s national security.
The 90 days starts from the issuance of the executive order on Friday night, which sets the deadline to divest all U.S. interest and rights by November 12. This gives ByteDance more time to secure a deal, as the company was previously only given until September 15, and until September 20 for U.S. transactions.
A previous 45-day deadline, however, did not require ByteDance to destroy all the user data acquired by TikTok and its predecessor Musical.ly. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States will be in charge of ensuring that this requirement is properly completed as part of the new executive order.
The 90-day deadline, which may be extended by up to 30 days, gives ByteDance some breathing room for the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, either to front-runner Microsoft, Twitter, or another buyer. Microsoft confirmed that negotiations are continuing, but such a transaction may be complicated by technical challenges.
In addition to allegations that TikTok may leak data to the Chinese government, the app has raised security concerns over its young users. A recent report by The New York Times claimed that more than a third of TikTok users in the U.S. are 14 years old and under, following a class-action lawsuit that claims the app steals childrens’ data and sends them to China.
Digital Trends has reached out to TikTok for comments on the executive order and the 90-day deadline for ByteDance, and we will update this article as soon as we hear back.