President Trump has vowed not to extend social media giant TikTok’s sell-by date of September 15.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday night, Trump said the deadline for TikTok to sell its US operations or have them shut down by the Trump administration would not be pushed back.
“We’ll either close up TikTok in this country for security reasons, or it’ll be sold,” Trump said just before boarding a flight to Michigan, as reported by the White House.
“I’m not extending deadlines. No. It’s September 15. There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”
Both Oracle and a partnership between Microsoft and Walmart have emerged as frontrunners to acquire TikTok owner ByteDance’s US operations.
However, the deal will be subject to conflicting demands of the US and Chinese governments.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States opened a national security review into ByteDance’s 2018 purchase of Musical.ly, an app that was merged to form TikTok.
The panel is said to be examining whether the merged companies could give the Chinese government access to huge swathes of American data, including videos to aid training facial recognition software.
Further uncertainty over the deal may come from the Chinese government, who updated its list of “forbidden and restricted technology exports” on Friday to include the social media giant’s algorithm.
Before Trump’s comments on Thursday it was thought his administration would offer an extension until November 12, but it now appears ByteDance has less than a week to finalise a deal for its global social media platform, which could fetch over $20 billion.