On Thursday (Sept. 10), he said that the deadline for China-based parent company ByteDance to divest the app wouldn't be extended.
“It’ll either be closed up or they’ll sell it,” Trump told reporters, according to Reuters. “There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”
ByteDance has engaged in a campaign as of late to find a buyer and keep TikTok, enormously popular in the U.S., afloat in the country. The app has proved especially popular during the pandemic with most users stuck at home for weeks in the spring.
But U.S. officials have raised concerns, like other international entities, over the potential for the app to be used by the Chinese government for spying or other such purposes. TikTok has said it wouldn't comply with requests to share U.S. user data with Beijing, Reuters reported.
The prospective buyers of the app in the U.S. include luminaries like Microsoft, Oracle and Twitter, although nothing is set in stone. Earlier in September, buyers were talking about how to structure an acquisition to get around tricky issues with key software from China.
The options could focus around ways to buy the app without a key programming code that allows the app to determine what content gets to be provided to whom, which has been under contention in China. Due to the quick nature under which the app needs to be purchased, potential buyers are querying whether that can happen and still retain the app's profitability.
Some possibilities include buying the app without that key piece of software and making a new one for the U.S., asking China to pass the algorithm in question to the eventual buyer or aiming for a transition period during which a U.S. national security panel would look over the deal.