The US Government deadline on banning TikTok came and went with no consequences – now there’s a new deadline.
The US Commerce Department said yesterday that it would not enforce the order requiring TikTok to shut down. The government cited an injunction from a federal judge in Pennsylvania as the reason why. That federal judge wrote that the Commerce Department might have overstepped its authority in banning transactions on TikTok.
The government sought to ban TikTok from the US, citing national security concerns and Chinese ownership.
For now, the prohibition against transactions with TikTok “has been enjoined and will not go into effect, pending further legal developments.” What are those developments? The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is stepping up to establish a new deadline for some reason.
Today the CFIUS issued a notice to TikTok, establishing a new November 27 deadline for divestment.
As part of the original deal, TikTok is supposed to sell or spin-off its US business. That entity would become TikTok Global, and a previous deal would see Oracle and Walmart established as its American partners. The new deadline by CFIUS may largely be posturing since it’s not clear how much authority the Committee has when the deadline arrives.
Earlier this week, TikTok said it had received “no substantive feedback” from the Trump administration about the looming ban. That led to the company to file a petition seeking a 30-day extension of the original November 12 CFIUS deadline. But now that the government has been enjoined from banning TikTok, it’s unclear what this new deadline means.
It’s looking more and more likely like the US future possibility of banning TikTok will fall on the incoming administration.
Joe Biden has signaled that he may have some of the same national security concerns as Trump. When asked how he would approach the situation, Biden said it’s “concerning” that China may have access to millions of Americans’ data. TikTok has not responded to a request for a comment on these latest developments.
For now, it appears as though the government action against TikTok is in limbo. As much as Trump would like to see the social media platform banned, the federal injunction is holding. For now, the Trump administration seems to have forgotten this battle entirely. Instead, Trump has turned his attention to the election and states being called for Biden. TikTok is unlikely to be banned in the United States at this point.