Multiple companies have expressed interest in acquiring TikTok’s US business since President Trump issued an executive order earlier this month requiring the app’s Chinese owners to shutdown operations in America. Should a sale not go through by the end of September (within 90 days of the order dated Aug. 14th), Trump said TikTok will have to “close down” in the US. Yet, general manager of TikTok’s business in the US Vanessa Pappas has told Bloomberg that the app will continue to operate in the country regardless of the potential ban.
“We believe we have multiple paths forward to ensure that we continue to provide this amazing app experience to the millions of Americans who come to rely on it every day," Pappas told Bloomberg. Pappas also oversees TikTok’s business in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Trump’s executive order cited national security concerns arising from a report by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). “We’ve made it clear that we strongly disagree with the conclusions of CFIUS and we're certainly disappointed in the outcome that we saw there,” Pappas said. “We still haven't been presented with any evidence to back up those claims and assertions.”
TikTok has fought against claims that it could be forced to hand over data to the Chinese government, saying it has an American CEO and that it doesn’t take orders from China. Meanwhile, Microsoft confirmed that it had begun discussions with TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to acquire the US operations, and Oracle is reportedly in similar talks as well.
Whether it’s through an acquisition by a major American company or dogged persistence on the part of TikTok’s US employees, it appears the app won’t be leaving the country anytime soon. Until the 90-day deadline is up though, TikTok’s future in America is foggy at best.