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TikTok’s forced sale to Oracle is put on hold

2021-02-10 17:53 by
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A preliminary deal to sell TikTok's US operations to software company Oracle and retail giant Walmart has been "shelved indefinitely," according to a report Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal.

Oracle announced in September that it was planning to take over as TikTok's "trusted tech partner" for the United States as part of a broader arrangement by the Trump White House. But the deal was widely criticized as a "glorified hosting deal" that did little to resolve underlying concerns about Chinese government influence over the platform.

In the meantime, the U.S. is taking a look at all of the potential threats to data privacy and security from intrusions by foreign governments or using tech developed overseas, according to Emily Horne, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

"We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing U.S. data that addresses the full range of threats we face," Horne told the Journal. "This includes the risk posed by Chinese apps and other software that operate in the US. In the coming months, we expect to review specific cases in light of a comprehensive understanding of the risks we face."

The Biden administration may have to make a decision on TikTok soon. The government has to offer its formal response to TikTok's legal challenge against the divestiture on February 18th. Officials haven't said what their stance will be, but the decision will reflect the government's overall policies — it would signal a more nuanced stance if the US backs off.

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