China’s ByteDance faces an uphill struggle to convince the White House to allow it to keep majority ownership of TikTok in the United States (US).
US President Donald Trump has ordered ByteDance last month to divest TikTok amid U.S. concerns that the personal data of the Americans could pass on to China’s Communist Party government.
Trump has threatened to ban TikTok in the US as early as Sept. 20 if ByteDance does not comply.
ByteDance has submitted a plan to U.S. officials for it to keep a majority stake in TikTok’s global business and create headquarters for TikTok in the United States.
The proposal is being reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel chaired by the U.S. Treasury Department.
“Conceptually I can tell you I don’t like that (ByteDance keeping a majority ownership of TikTok). That has been reported, but it has not been told to me yet. If that is the case, I’m not going to be happy with that,” Trump told media officials.
He added that would be briefed on the deal and consider it on Thursday.
“After CFIUS made a recommendation to the President and the President issued an executive order requiring divestment, it would be unprecedented for the parties to negotiate a solution short of a divestment, though it would clearly be within the authority of the President to modify his order” said Aimen Mir, who oversaw CFIUS reviews between 2014 and 2018.
ByteDance, the White House and the Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.