President Trump orders ByteDance to divest from its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days

TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday that will force China’s ByteDance to sell or spin off its U.S. TikTok business within 90 days. 

“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump said in the order.

The order was seen as good news for TikTok’s future in the U.S. relative to an earlier executive order from Trump last week. That order would have prohibited transactions with TikTok in the U.S., if its parent ByteDance did not reach a deal to divest from it in 45 days. (The U.S. Department of Commerce would define which transactions would be barred at the end of the 45-day period.)

The new order buys time for ByteDance to sort out a potential deal to rescue TikTok, the wildly popular short form video sharing app, and its future in the U.S.

Under the order, ByteDance is expected to destroy all its TikTok data attached to U.S. users. 

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