The proposed sale of TikTok’s US operations to Oracle and Walmart has been halted. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the deal has been “shelved indefinitely.”
The deal was initially pushed by then-President Donald Trump over concerns about the company’s Chinese ownership, but President Biden is said to have put a stop to the sale as his own administration conducts a review of its own for possible security risks.
TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, is currently engaged with members of US national security teams to look into data security and specifically how TikTok collects data from American users and how such data might be accessed by the government in China.
“We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing US data that addresses the full range of threats we face,” National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne told WSJ. “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.”
Trump originally demanded that TikTok sell its US-based operations to an American company, and Oracle and Walmart ended up jointly agreeing to acquire it. Microsoft was reportedly in the mix, too.
The US government, under Trump, also sought to look into the investments of Chinese internet giant Tencent, which has invested in numerous American game companies.