TikTok, a Chinese-owned video sharing platform, filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia on Tuesday as a result of the uncertainty surrounding its operations in the United States. The Trump administration owned committee had given ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company until November 12 to sell its assets used in the operation of TikTok in the United States.
This means that TikTok can only be operated without any involvement from ByteDance which has been accused of having close ties with the communist party in China and could share important data of Americans with the party. Executives of TikTok also got approval from president Trump to enter a partnership with Oracle but the president has failed to properly address the issue for weeks now.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) failed to state the penalties that will be meted out to TikTok if ByteDance does not follow the directives. The company has filed the petition to call for a reversal of the decision of the committee. The company explained that it has been negotiating the issue of security concerns with CFIUS for at least a year.
The company stated that though the issue of security concerns isn’t true, it is willing to partner with Oracle as stipulated by the committee but it has not received any feedback about finalizing the terms of the deal since the initial authorization given by President Trump. It is still unsure what action President-elect Joe Biden will take when he is sworn in over TikTok’s matter, CNBC states.
The CFIUS directive was given on August 14 stating that ByteDance should divest its assets in the US within 3 months unless an extension is announced but nothing of that nature has been announced by the committee. The deadline led to initial speculations that the assets of ByteDance in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia will be acquired by Oracle or Microsoft.
The Chinese government however cut the sale short by insisting that ByteDance must be given a license to sell TikTok to foreign companies. ByteDance later decided to sell the assets to Oracle and Walmart. The Chinese government kicked against the deal after Trump approved it on September 19 but the companies had problems settling the terms of the agreement. ByteDance wanted to keep 80% of TikTok Global while Oracle insisted that the company could not own any part of the new TikTok.
The president’s diagnosis of a positive COVID-19 test on October 2 and the election have however shifted attention away from the deal. All these events prompted Tuesday’s appeal says TikTok.