If TikTok wants to sell itself to a US company and avoid a potential ban, it might have to leave behind one of its most important pieces of code. South China Morning Post sources claim TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, won’t sell or transfer the social video service’s recommendation algorithm to a US buyer. If TikTok wanted to keep functioning, its American team would need to write a new algorithm for showing and suggesting videos.
ByteDance reportedly told US officials and would-be buyers about the decision. This wouldn’t leave TikTok much time to act — President Trump has so far refused to extend a September 15th deadline for a sale.