ByteDance Asks U.S. Court to Intervene in TikTok Forced Sale

The Chinese owner of TikTok asked the federal appeals court in Washington to intervene to prevent the U.S. government from requiring it to sell the video-sharing app or face a ban in the United States.

The owner, ByteDance Ltd., is seeking to halt the forced sale of its most important international business, a viral video service with upwards of a 100 million users in the U.S. The Trump administration issued an executive order banning TikTok in the U.S. on national security grounds, and demanded the Chinese company cede control of TikTok to American investors.

A deal was eventually struck to sell about 20% to Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc., but that agreement is now in limbo amid changes in the White House and a legal challenge to the ban.

“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,” TikTok said in a statement, referring to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.

TikTok said it had requested a 30-day extension from the government to continue working toward a solution that would avert the order to divest.

“In the nearly 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,” it said.

Facing a Thursday CFIUS deadline, TikTok said, it had no choice but to turn to the appeals court “to defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the U.S.”

The U.S. contends that TikTok is a national security threat, saying it could give China’s government access to the personal data of millions of Americans because it’s owned by a Chinese company.

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