President Trump on Friday night ordered TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based Bytedance, to sell the popular video app’s U.S. operations within 90 days, saying there is “credible evidence” TikTok “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
Trump’s order comes a week after he signed a different executive order, effectively banning the app from being used in the U.S. by mid-September. The new order buys Bytedance a bit more time to work out a deal to sell its U.S. operations.
In Friday’s order, the president said Bytedance must submit a weekly report to The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States on its divestment efforts. Friday’s order also said Bytedance, in order to complete its sale, must show it has “destroyed all data” tied to American users.
Bytedance has been working to quickly offload TikTok’s U.S. business in recent weeks, with Microsoft emerging as the frontrunner.
Along these lines, President Trump has said the app will be jettisoned from the U.S. on Sept. 15, barring a sale to a U.S. firm, due to national security concerns.
One Reddit user recently reverse-engineered TikTok to show what the app collects from its users — highlighting information Bytedance could be compelled to share with China’s government, based on the country’s laws. The app collects a wide range of information from users, according to the independent review, including IP and MAC addresses, GPS location, and other apps that are installed on a user’s phone, among other data points.