👻 The White House almost forgot about TikTok, which has 9 days left to find an owner

It’s a busy time. Covid, holidays, NFL football, the election and so on. But do you think you could ever be busy enough to forget about an unprecedented legal maneuver you made against a powerful Chinese social media company? 

For the White House, that answer appears to be yes. 

  • The Trump administration has been acting like a bad Tinder match to TikTok: The last news on TikTok came earlier this fall when the White House gave the app’s parent company, ByteDance, until Nov. 12 to finalize a deal that would sell the app to American owners. Otherwise TikTok would be banned in the U.S. ByteDance wanted an extension of 30 days (which it claims was allowable under an earlier agreement) and repeatedly asked the White House but never got an answer.  

  • The deadline came and went: And the White House took no action. On Nov. 13, the White House finally gave ByteDance a two-week extension. 

  • But will the Trump administration finally listen to TikTok?: TikTok claims the White House not only failed to respond to its extension requests but also to questions about privacy and security needs. ByteDance had originally planned to sell part of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart -- with the approval of Trump --but the deal has not been finalized.  

The 60 Minutes treatment

For an in-depth look at the legal and political case involving TikTok’s and ByteDance’s ties with the Chinese government, check out this report from Sunday’s 60 Minutes

The Verdict

The new deadline for the sale of TikTok is November 27, the day after Thanksgiving (do you really think the White House is going to remember that one?). If no deal has been reached, the Trump administration’s Department of the Treasury may sue, further adding to this complicated situation.