President Donald Trump said he would not extend a deadline for the sale of the U.S. operations of TikTok to an American company.
Trump’s remarks come as a deadline he imposed for the possible sale looms. The president on Thursday suggested the sale date is Sept. 15, which aligns with the first TikTok-centric executive order he signed. However, an executive order targeted at ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, has a mid-November deadline.
TikTok began negotiating a sale after Trump signed an executive order effectively banning the app in the United States. The president’s order cited the app collecting “vast swaths of information” on its users in his executive order.
The popular app faced scrutiny because it is owned by ByteDance. The Chinese government has forced tech companies in the country to hand over data, leading to speculation it could do the same with TikTok.
TikTok has defended itself vehemently, saying that U.S. user data is stored within the country.
Several potential owners have popped up including a joint bid by Microsoft and Walmart and a separate bid by Oracle. Other companies, like Twitter, have also been rumored. Microsoft has long been the presumed frontrunner for a deal.
Early in the process, Microsoft confirmed its interest, saying it hoped to have a deal in place by September 15.
With the deadline fast approaching, Trump told reporters on Thursday that he wouldn’t be offering an extension to the deadline he imposed.
“TikTok is moving along, we’ll see what happens … We’ll either close up TikTok in this country for security reasons or it’ll be sold,” the president said. “I’m not extending deadlines. It’s Sept. 15. They’ll be no extension of the TikTok deadline. ”
Another hangup to the deadline could come as a result of a lawsuit brough against Trump’s executive orders by TikTok.
A potential sale of U.S. operations of the popular app could also face difficulties because of new restrictions put in place by the Chinese government regarding the sale of algorithms.