Sunday, September 27, 2020

Trump orders ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US biz in 90 days

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Washington: US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order to direct China-based ByteDance to sell its TikTok business in the US within 90 days.

“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,” Trump wrote in the order issued on Friday.

The earlier executive order from Trump prohibited the China-based company from doing business with the US firms after 45 days.

TikTok has already threatened legal action against the first executive order.

The new executive order directed ByteDance to “divest any data it obtained from users of TikTok or Musical.ly in the United States”.

It also authorised US officials to inspect TikTok and ByteDance to ensure the safety of personal data of nearly 80 million American users of the short video making app.

The earlier executive orders were issued amid discussion by Microsoft to purchase the US business of TikTok by September 15.

Microsoft revealed its intention to purchase TikTok’s US business following a discussion between the company’s CEO and the US President.

However, reports surfaced that the Microsoft-TikTok deal may not happen as odds of the deal are “not higher than 20 per cent”.

The probability of Microsoft buying TikTok is “not higher than 20 per cent” since the initial price offered by the US software giant was akin to “robbing the owner when his house is on fire”, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

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