Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok, has been given a 15-day extension to divest from its American assets, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday.
A divestment deadline had initially been set for Thursday, but TikTok requested an extension earlier this week in federal court, saying it hadn’t received guidance from the government on its plan in weeks.
Friday’s extension is tied to an executive order from President Trump in August, ordering Bytedance to offload TikTok’s U.S. operations. The president said the video app poses a national security risk due to its data collection policies and close ties to China’s communist government. TikTok has denied ever sharing American user data with Chinese government officials.
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The extension also comes a day after the Commerce Department said it wouldn’t enforce a separate Nov. 12 deadline that would’ve effectively pulled TikTok from app stores on Apple and Google devices.
TikTok’s divestment plan will require approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
“This extension will provide the parties and the Committee additional time to resolve this case in a manner that complies with the Order,” Treasury spokesperson Monica Crowley said in a statement.
In September, TikTok reached a deal for Oracle to become its “trusted technology provider” in the U.S. Walmart, as part of the deal, would also receive a minority stake in TikTok Global, a new American offshoot of the company. President Trump gave his informal “blessing” on the Oracle-TikTok deal soon after it was announced, but the bid has been stuck in regulatory limbo for two months ever since. One sticking point seemed to be federal regulators wanting ByteDance to offload a bigger share of its American business than the 20% initially outlined in Oracle’s bid.
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It was unclear what, if any, ramifications there would be for ByteDance not divesting by its Thursday deadline. The president’s executive order did not outline penalties for TikTok or ByteDance if an agreement wasn’t reached by Nov. 12, but it did grant Attorney General William Barr the authority to “take any steps necessary” to enforce divestiture.
Shannon Reaves, special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP in Los Angeles, said, ultimately, “it would be on the government to enforce” its divestment deadline, not TikTok. And since TikTok didn’t receive a response from regulators until Friday, it made sense for TikTok to “take that as cause to go forward,” or continue operating in the U.S. Now, after Friday’s extension, it looks like the Oracle-TikTok deal could get a yay or nay from the government by the end of the month.