To make matters even more confusing, TikTok’s lawsuit isn’t the only thing shaping the future of the app.
What did it all start?
TikTok has since opposed claims that it poses a security risk, stating that the user data it stores about Americans is stored in the US, with a backup in Singapore. His opposition to the ban spurred TikTok to sue the Trump administration in federal court.
What happened to the ban?
A ban on downloading TikTok from US app stores was originally due to come into effect on September 20, according to the US Department of Commerce.
The US Department of Commerce has announced that it will “vigorously defend” its order and there have been no significant developments in the trial since the judge issued his verdict last week.
The app store ban isn’t the only TikTok deadline on the U.S. government’s radar, however.
Confusingly, one of Trump’s executive orders gave TikTok a much longer deadline, Nov. 12, to find a U.S. buyer. After that date, the Department of Commerce announced that Internet backbone companies would no longer be allowed to broadcast the app’s traffic, effectively shutting down TikTok’s U.S. operations.
TikTok could also try to postpone this deadline. The company has until October 14 to file a request to temporarily suspend these restrictions.
What is happening to this deal?
The agreement with Oracle and Walmart is still in the works. The two companies would own at least part of a new company called TikTok Global, which would be headquartered in the United States.
Trump has said he won’t approve the deal if the Americans don’t control the company. This request has created confusion as an initial announcement of the collaboration with Oracle and Walmart implied that ByteDance would continue to own a majority of Tiktok in the future. (In the following days, a person familiar with the business told CNN Business that TikTok Global would be partially owned by ByteDance’s international and Chinese investors, but that ByteDance itself would hold zero percent of the company that the deal made to carry out the Business to be created app outside of China.)
What about china?
ByteDance applied for a license from the Chinese government last month to export its technology, indicating the company will need approval from China before the deal can proceed.
However, according to ByteDance, the US deal doesn’t include the transfer of its algorithms and technologies – just that Oracle could review the app’s source code.
What about WeChat?
There is another Chinese owned app that is also under pressure in the US.
One of Trump’s orders in August called for a ban on transactions with WeChat, not just TikTok. The app, owned by Tencent, is ubiquitous in China and is widely considered to be of equal value if Facebook, PayPal, LinkedIn, and other platforms were combined into one. It’s also a popular way for people to keep in touch with friends, family, and business contacts in China.
Last Friday, the US Department of Justice said it would appeal the decision, which could lead to litigation over the future of the app.
In addition to the appeal, Beeler is expected to reconsider her temporary suspension of the ban on October 15.