Washington – US: A U.S. plan to force the sale of TikTok’s American operations to a group including Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. has been shelved indefinitely, people familiar with the situation said, as President Biden undertakes a broad review of his predecessor’s efforts to address potential security risks from Chinese tech companies.
The deal has been shelved indefinitely pending a broader review
The TikTok deal has languished since last fall in the midst of successful legal challenges to the U.S. government’s effort by TikTok’s owner, China’s ByteDance Ltd.
Discussions have continued between representatives of ByteDance and U.S. national security officials. Those discussions have centered on data security and ways to prevent the information TikTok collects on American users from being accessed by the Chinese government.
But no imminent decision on how to resolve the issues surrounding TikTok is expected as the Biden administration determines its own response to the potential security risk posed by Chinese tech companies collection of data.
We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing U.S. data that addresses the full range of threats we face. This includes the risk posed by Chinese apps and other software that operate in the U.S. In the coming months, we expect to review specific cases in light of a comprehensive understanding of the risks we face.Emily Horne – Spokeswoman National Security Council
Earlier Oracle announced in September that it was planning to take over as TikTok’s trusted tech partner for the United States as part of a broader arrangement by the Trump White House. But the deal was widely criticized as a “glorified hosting deal” that did little to resolve underlying concerns about Chinese government influence over the platform.
If President Biden shifts away from Trump’s aggressive policy toward the app, TikTok would likely continue its US operations without any assistance from Oracle.
Trump-driven deal had languished as Chinese owner mounted successful legal challenges
Biden’s tech policy is still taking shape, but the new president has shown some willingness to continue Trump-era efforts to stem Chinese influence. Earlier this month, incoming Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Congress that she saw no reason to remove Huawei from the Entity List, suggesting that Trump’s ban on Huawei telecom products will likely continue under the Biden administration.