Trump orders TikTok owner to sell its US business

Trump had previously said both that he intended to ban the app in the United States and that there was a Sept. 15 deadline for a sale. He has also insisted that the US Treasury should directly benefit from any acquisition.

“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” the order states. It also requires ByteDance destroy the data of US users.

As CNBC notes, “the order was seen as good news for TikTok” because “the prior executive order could have forced U.S. based app stores to stop distributing the TikTok app if ByteDance did not reach a deal to divest from it in 45 days.” In other words: the latest order creates a more clear path forward for ByteDance to negotiate a sale to a US buyer. The Trump administration used a similar tactic last year when it used the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to force the Chinese owner of Grindr to sell the dating app to an American company.

When reached for comment, a TikTok spokesperson referred to the company previous statement in response to Trump’s prior executive order. “We’re committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform for many years to come,” the spokesperson said,

Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Developing…