TikTok sale to U.S. firm on hold ‘indefinitely’

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The Biden administration is still reviewing TikTok’s legal situation

TikTok’s forced sale to Oracle and Walmart has been put on hold “indefinitely” now that the Biden administration has taken the reins, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Last year, Trump ordered the sale of TikTok to a majority U.S.-ownership group over concerns about data security, as well as the potential for the video sharing app’s algorithm to be used to advance Chinese political goals. 

After being pushed back several times, the deadline for the sale was ultimately moved to December 4. That date came and went with no response from the outgoing administration. Now, Biden administration officials say the deal is on hold while the new president reviews past efforts to mitigate security risks from Chinese technology firms. 

“We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing U.S. data that addresses the full range of threats we face,” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne told the Journal. “This includes the risk posed by Chinese apps and other software that operate in the U.S. In the coming months, we expect to review specific cases in light of a comprehensive understanding of the risks we face.”

TikTok may use a third party for data

TikTok is reportedly still talking to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) about resolving security concerns. However, sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that any deal reached “would likely be different from the one discussed last September.” 

Instead of a sale, a source said that one resolution might involve sending TikTok data to a “trusted third party” to prevent the Chinese government from having access to Americans’ info. The newly installed administration has until February 18 to offer a formal response to TikTok’s legal situation. 

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