Earlier this month, President Trump set a 45-day deadline after which transactions by US companies with ByteDance or Tencent’s WeChat would be banned.
That was seen as a deadline for a sale of TikTok’s US operations, but now a new executive order from the president has set a longer deadline for that.
ByteDance has been ordered do divest all its interests and rights in TikTok’s US operations, as well as permanently destroying any data on US citizens it has obtained from TikTok, or the Musical·ly app that was acquired and merged with it.
While Microsoft had expected to finish its acquisition talks for TikTok by mid-September, it will now have until 12 November – although that’s still a very tight deadline to untangle the necessary operations and data.
Talking about data on US citizens… the New York Times reported that in July this year, TikTok had 49 million daily active users in the US, and classified more than a third of them as being 14 years old or younger.
The strict US laws on data privacy for children under 13 – laws that Musical·ly and TikTok previously fell foul of – are one complication for any acquisition now.
Finally, in related news to all this, President Trump appears to have an official account on TikTok’s US rival Triller.