TikTok has filed a petition in a US Court of Appeals calling for a review of actions by the Trump administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The reason, according to the company, is that it hasn’t heard from the committee in weeks about an imminent deadline for parent company ByteDance to sell off US assets over national security concerns.
The CFIUS set the deadline of November 12th for TikTok to divest itself of “any tangible or intangible assets or property, wherever located, used to enable or support ByteDance’s operation of the TikTok application in the United States.” TikTok says it applied for a 30-day extension that was allowed for in the CFIUS’ order, but hasn’t received any communication on the matter. It’s not clear what would actually happen if the deadline passed; TikTok was granted a preliminary injunction against it late last month.
“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” TikTok says in a statement to The Verge. “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 – but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”
“Facing continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted, we requested the 30-day extension that is expressly permitted in the August 14 order,” the statement continues. “Today, with the November 12 CFIUS deadline imminent and without an extension in hand, 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. We remain committed to working with the Administration — as we have all along — to resolve the issues it has raised, but our legal challenge today is a protection to ensure these discussions can take place.”ByteDance agreed to sell part of its US business in a complicated deal including Oracle and Walmart, which President Trump approved in September. But the deal was never sanctioned by the Chinese government, and it’s been in limbo ever since.