Show an ad over header. AMP

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.


Details: Under the order, ByteDance has to divest Musical.ly, the U.S.-based karaoke app it bought and merged with existing assets in 2018 to create TikTok in its present form, as well as all assets that support the U.S. operation of TikTok.

  • The company also must also destroy any copies of data it collected via TikTok.
  • The order follows a unanimous recommendation from the Treasury Department-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.
  • CFIUS had been reviewing the Musical.ly deal for possible national security concerns.

Context: Microsoft has been in talks as a potential buyer in a TikTok sale. The latest order is unlikely to affect those negotiations beyond putting all parties in an additional time crunch.

What they're saying: "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," Trump wrote in Friday's order.

  • China hawks maintain that Beijing could force ByteDance to hand over Americans' data collected through TikTok, though there's no evidence it has done so to date.
  • TikTok maintains that it does not store any U.S. user data in China.

Be smart: Unwinding the Musical.ly deal was widely expected to be the process for effectively forcing ByteDance out of the U.S. should the CFIUS make that recommendation, until Trump inserted himself more directly into the process.

  • Sources have told Axios that CFIUS has grown less willing to enact measures to greenlight Chinese investment with conditions to mitigate risks and that a divestiture order was likely.

The big picture: TikTok, which has been working on boosting its D.C. presence since last year, has been appealing to Congress to explain how its business in the U.S. works and has said it is exploring legal options to fight Trump's ban threat.

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee set to start Oct. 12

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee are tentatively scheduled to begin Oct. 12, two Senate sources familiar with the plans told Axios.

Why it matters: The committee's current schedule could allow Senate Republicans to confirm the nominee weeks before November's election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell currently has enough votes to confirm Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is expected as the president's pick.

Keep reading... Show less

A hinge moment for America's role in the world

The world may be living through the last gasps of America First— or just getting a taste of what's to come.

Why it matters: President Trump's message at this week's virtual UN General Assembly was short and relatively simple: global institutions like the World Health Organization are weak and beholden to China; international agreements like the Iran deal or Paris climate accord are "one-sided"; and the U.S. has accomplished more by going its own way.

Keep reading... Show less

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

Keep reading... Show less

America on edge as SCOTUS, protests and 2020 collide

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.

Keep reading... Show less

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews Bob Woodward

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," journalist Bob Woodward tells Axios National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan why he spoke out about President Trump being the "wrong man for the job."

  • "I did not want to join the ranks of the Senate Republicans who know that Trump is the wrong man for the job, but won't say it publicly," Woodward said.

Catch the full interview on Monday, Sept. 28 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

Trump picks Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett — expected to be named by President Trump today to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, and an edge on issues from abortion to the limits of presidential power.

The big picture: Republicans love the federal appeals court judge's age — she is only 48 — and her record as a steadfast social conservative.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

Via Joe Biden for President

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories