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TikTok Asks Court To Intervene As Government’s Deadline To Sell Off US Operations Arrives

Social media app TikTok asked a federal court to intervene as the U.S. government’s deadline for the app’s American operations to be sold off arrived Thursday.

An Aug. 14 executive order signed by President Donald Trump gave the popular social media app until Thursday to divest from its U.S. operations, CNN Business reported. TikTok, which is owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, expressed confusion in a statement Tuesday night and filed an emergency petition with a federal appeals court.

“In the nearly two months since the President gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement,” TikTok said in a statement, according to CNN.

“We have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US,” the statement continued.

TikTok agreed to a tentative deal to hand its operations over to tech giant Oracle and Walmart on Sept. 19, the companies announced in a statement. As part of the agreement, TikTok would establish a new company TikTok Global, which would be based in the U.S., majority owned by U.S. investors and use Oracle’s American cloud infrastructure.

“We believe this deal will benefit the U.S. in many ways, including bringing over 25,000 jobs over time as well as continuing to develop exciting, innovative products for people to enjoy around the world,” Walmart said in the statement.

Trump gave his blessing to the deal once it was announced, according to CNBC. Trump and several other leaders including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said China poses a national security risk to the U.S. since ByteDance has access to the data of millions of Americans, which could be handed over to the Chinese government, CNN reported.

However, TikTok said it has not received any “clarity” from the U.S. government about the proposal, according to ABC News. The Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States said it is still focused on resolving the national security risks posed by TikTok in a statement Wednesday.

It remains unclear as of Thursday afternoon what will happen to TikTok, or if the company would face fines, if Thursday passes without any further action from the Treasury Department, according to CNN.

TikTok and the Treasury Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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