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ByteDance Is Looking for Ways to Avoid TikTok Full Sale

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Key Points

  • ByteDance talks to the U.S. government about potential options that might allow it to maintain some control of TikTok’s U.S. operations while satisfying regulators in both China and the U.S.
  • These possibilities involve turning over operational control of TikTok data to a U.S. tech firm, while a person familiar with the process told CNBC possibly still holding on to some ownership of the assets.
  • The discussions took place over months, the Journal reported, and the situation remains fluid.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

ByteDance talks to the U.S. government about potential options that might allow it to maintain some control of TikTok’s U.S. operations while satisfying regulators in both China and the U.S. These possibilities involve turning over operational control of TikTok data to a U.S. tech firm, while a person familiar with the process told CNBC possibly still holding on to some ownership of the assets.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Wednesday that ByteDance consulted with the U.S. government on ways to prevent a complete sale. The discussions took place over months, the Journal reported, and the situation remains fluid. It is also uncertain if the Trump administration is willing to go along with a plan like this.

The White House has already set a Sept. 20 deadline for the Chinese-owned firm to announce a plan to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a U.S. corporation, or face a September 29 closure in the U.S. Any such agreement will need to be finalized by 12th of November.

The firm had been negotiating in collaboration with Walmart, or Oracle, to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft. An agreement was close to completion which prompted CEO Kevin Mayer to announce his resignation.

The sale hit a snag, however, after Chinese officials imposed new technology export restrictions that could require TikTok’s Chinese approval to sell its algorithm, which is part of the app’s core value.

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