A reflection of the USA flag is seen on the sign of the TikTok app in this illustration picture taken September 19, 2020.
TikTok, the viral video app that's extremely popular with Generation Z, announced it has in a U.S. Court of Appeals asking for a review of the Trump administration's actions.
As per President Donald Trump's executive order, signed in August, ByteDance was required to divest TikTok's US operations by November 12, unless it was given a 30-day extension by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). In September, the Trump administration announced it would essentially ban TikTok by that same date unless the company sold its USA assets. The world keeps spinning, however, and there's a lot the president of the United States needs to do outside of campaigns and elections.
As it faced criticism earlier this year from U.S. President Donald Trump and the order to find a buyer for its American operations, TikTok had been in talks with a number of potential suitors, including Microsoft Corp., though eventually ByteDance selected the dual proposal from software maker Oracle and retail giant Walmart.
"Facing continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted, we requested the 30-day extension that is expressly permitted in the August 14 order", the company said in a statement.
In its petition, Beijing-based ByteDance has asked for a review of the divestment order, claiming the order and the government's assertion that TikTok is a national security threat were unlawful and violated the company's rights under the U.S. Constitution. The Justice Department did not immediately comment.
TikTok has been scrambling to negotiate with investors and suitors to resolve the fight, and it struck a preliminary deal to spin off its USA operations with investment from Oracle and Walmart. TikTok has disputed the claim and said its American user data is in the USA and backed up in Singapore.
It was turning to the court for that reason, it said.
Trump issued his divestiture order after a review by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is chaired by the Treasury Department.
Cfius also said ByteDance stores user data on servers hosted by China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and cited press reports that Alibaba actively supports the Chinese government's intelligence and surveillance efforts.
TikTok has attempted to acquiesce to Trump's demands.
The company added: "In the almost two months since the President gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement - but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework".
The committee has raised security concerns about ByteDance's acquisition of lip-synching app Musical.ly, which has millions of U.S. users.