TikTok sale to Oracle, Walmart shelves while Biden reviews security

WASHINGTON – A U.S. plan to force the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to a group that includes Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. has been shelved indefinitely, people familiar with the situation said, as President Biden conducts a comprehensive review of the efforts of its predecessor to address the security risks of Chinese technology companies.

The TikTok deal, which had been pushed by then-President Donald Trump, has languished since last fall amid successful legal challenges to the US government’s effort by TikTok owner, China’s ByteDance Ltd.

Discussions have continued between representatives of ByteDance and US national security officials, the people said. Those discussions have focused on data security and ways to prevent the Chinese government from accessing the information TikTok collects about American users, they said.

But an imminent decision on how to resolve the TikTok-related issues is not expected, as Biden’s management determines its own response to the potential security risk posed by collecting data from Chinese tech companies.

“We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing US data that addresses the full range of threats we face,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne. “This includes the risk posed by Chinese applications and other software operating in the US. In the coming months, we hope to review specific cases in light of a comprehensive understanding of the risks we face.”


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