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An ill-conceived plan for Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc to take over popular video app TikTok’s U.S. operations has been shelved indefinitely while the White House conducts a broader review of potential security risks posed by Chinese tech companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.
During a press briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden’s administration has taken no “proactive” steps related to the proposal and that they are evaluating risks to U.S. data, including any involving TikTok.
While Psaki did not provide a timeline for that process, Reuters reported the plan could face months of additional reviews as the new administration revisits Trump-era policies regarding China.
Last year, former President Donald Trump pushed TikTok to find an American buyer by threatening to ban the video app based on concerns that its Chinese parent company ByteDance could hand over data from its U.S. users to the Chinese government.
TikTok, which has over 100 million users in the U.S., has denied the allegation, though it ultimately struck a partnership deal with Oracle and Walmart to shift TikTok’s U.S. assets into a new entity.
The deal has languished since last fall while TikTok battled the Trump administration in court over the attempted ban.
Three federal judges pushed back on the ban, with one saying in a December 2020 ruling that the U.S. Commerce Department under Trump “likely overstepped” its legal authority in issuing it, CNBC reported. Those rulings are on appeal before U.S. circuit courts.
Biden has said TikTok is a concern but has not indicated if his administration will ban the app or force a sale.
According to The Wall Street Journal, TikTok has continued talks with the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. (CFIUS), but the final deal would likely be different than what was initially proposed. Chinese regulators would also need to approve the agreement.
Source: Equities News