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Biden Admin Stops Federal Push To Sell TikTok’s US Division

 |  February 10, 2021

The Biden administration has reportedly put a hold on the Trump administration’s bid to force a sale of TikTok’s US business. Trump pushed for the sale of the popular TikTok video-sharing app to a US buyer over security concerns.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday (Feb. 10) that the new administration wants a broad review of Trump’s efforts to deal with potential security risks from Chinese tech companies. TikTok’s owner is China-based ByteDance.

The previous US plan was to have Oracle and Walmart buy up TikTok. However, the deal had been stymied by ByteDance’s successful legal challenges in the US, the WSJ said.

The news report added that talks between representatives of ByteDance and US national security officials have continued. People familiar with the situation said discussions have focused on ways to prevent the information TikTok collects on American users from being accessed by the Chinese government. There is no timeline for when the Biden administration will make a decision.

“We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing US data that addresses the full range of threats we face,” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said. “This includes the risk posed by Chinese apps and other software that operate in the US In the coming months, we expect to review specific cases in light of a comprehensive understanding of the risks we face.”

TikTok has run into trouble around the world as various countries have raised security concerns or even blocked the app. For example, amid cross-border tensions, India banned TikTok and dozens of other China-based apps from its smartphone networks, citing “data sovereignty.”

The European Union launched an investigation into TikTok as well.