President Donald Trump on Thursday said there will be no postponement of the deadline for popular video app
to find a new owner or face a ban in the US.
"There'll be no extension of the TikTok deadline," Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One on Thursday. "It'll either be closed up or they'll sell it."
A deal to sell TikTok's US business was reportedly almost reached last month before new Chinese regulations put up a roadblock. The new rules may require Beijing-based ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to obtain a government license before selling the technology. Microsoft and Walmart have teamed up for a potential deal, while Oracle and "a third US company" have made bids on TikTok, according to CNBC.
On Friday, Reuters reported that Chinese officials would rather see TikTok shut down in the US than have parent company ByteDance forced to sell American operations.
Citing fears over national security, Trump last month issued an executive order that would effectively ban the app if its ownership doesn't change. TikTok is challenging the order in court and has repeatedly said it doesn't share user data with the Chinese government, one of the main concerns brought up by the Trump administration.
Trump on Thursday said the deadline for a deal is Sept. 15, but the official deadline is somewhat unclear. An Aug. 6 executive order gave TikTok until Sept. 20 to find a buyer. A week later, Trump extended that period in another executive order, pushing the deadline to early November.
TikTok has grown over the past year to more than 100 million users in the US and more than 2 billion downloads around the world, making it a cultural phenomenon, particularly among teenagers.
"TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it's a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection," said a TikTok spokesperson in an emailed statement Friday. "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."