US president Donald Trump has demanded that TikTok sell its operations in the country within the next 90 days.
As reported by Reuters, Trump's latest effort to eradicate the short-form clip app from the US has been ramped up yet again, with the president citing the company's access to personal data as the reason.
"There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," said Trump.
Trump has had a vendetta with the ByteDance-owned firm for a while now, no doubt thanks to strained relations between the US and China. Recently, the president signed not one, but two executive orders to ban both TikTok and fellow Chinese social media app WeChat – by Tencent – next month, effective 45 days from when the documents were signed.
Ban or no ban?
However, TikTok may have its order voided in a manner that does not require court action, as Trump has given the go-ahead for Microsoft to secure a deal with the Chinese firm for the app's US operations. Although, the president did still have some stipulations. Firstly, the big M was given just 45 days to come to an agreement. Second, in what has been referred to as "mafia-like" behaviour, Trump has demanded a slice of the profits go to the US government.
Due to its uncertain future, the video-based app has offered refunds to advertisers as it cannot commit to their ad campaigns. However, TikTok will honour agreements that it can still complete.
In China, ByteDance has been reprimanded for its handling of the situation, namely for not pushing back against the ruling. Now though, it would appear that the company is preparing to fight back.