After months of breathless drama, the Trump administration’s war with TikTok has reached a stand still. Or, to be more accurate, the Trump team has ghosted the Chinese social network, effectively going silent over the past few weeks, CNBC reports. And that’s particularly concerning for TikTok, since Trump’s committee on foreign investment in the United States (CFIUS) ordered its parent company ByteDance to divest its US assets by tomorrow, November 12th. To make things even more confusing, the CFIUS hasn’t specified what would happen to the social network if it didn’t divest from the US by that date, which has led TikTok to petition the committee for a review of the situation.
Last we heard, TikTok planned to allay the Trump clan by partnering with Oracle and Wal-Mart in the US, who would own a 20 percent stake in a newly formed “TikTok Global” company. On September 20th, the Trump administration said the president approved the deal “in concept,” but nothing was ever finalized. Afterwards, a judge blocked the government from removing TikTok from app stores, and an influencer lawsuit also led another court to nullify the November 12th ban.
And you know the rest: Since then, the president contracted COVID-19, following (or perhaps sparking) a wave of infections in the White House. And after a heated election season, the American people voted for Joe Biden as the next US President. So you could say the Trump administration has bigger problems to deal with than a popular social network, but it’s certainly a curious outcome after dramatically attempting to force it out of the country.
Biden’s camp, meanwhile, says it’s too soon to tell what his plan for TikTok will be, CNBC reports. But his campaign did tell their workers to remove TikTok from their phones over security concerns, something that companies like Wells Fargo are also enforcing.