Not planning to sell TikTok, parent company ByteDance clarifies after US restrictions

The new law has given ByteDance 9 months to sell the popular short video app

Germany Gamescom

After the legislation demanding TikTok's parent company ByteDance to sell the video-sharing platform or face a ban in the US got President Joe Biden's approval on Wednesday, the company clarified that it has no plan to sell TikTok.

ByteDance refuted media reports that said the company is exploring options for the sale of TikTok's US business without the algorithm that recommends videos to TikTok users.

There have been concerns that the Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over US user data, or influence Americans by suppressing or promoting certain content on TikTok, although there is little evidence to support such concerns. This resulted in the new legislation.

Responding to the ultimatum by the US, TikTok CEO Shou Chew said in a video response that the company isn't going anywhere. "Rest assured, we aren't going anywhere. The facts and the Constitution are on our side, and we expect to prevail again," he said in the video, posted on X.

The new law has given ByteDance nine months to sell the popular short video app. The president can grant a one-time extension of 90 days, bringing the timeline to sell to one year, if he certifies that there's a path to divestiture and significant progress toward executing it.

“Congress is not acting to punish ByteDance, TikTok or any other individual company. Congress is acting to prevent foreign adversaries from conducting espionage, surveillance, maligned operations, harming vulnerable Americans, our servicemen and women, and our US government personnel," Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell had said during the passage of the bill against TikTok.

Those opposed to the US legislation, including rights advocacy forums like American Civil Liberties Union, point out that the government hasn't come close to justifying banning the app although many feel that national-security claims could still prevail.


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