United States President Donald Trump on Thursday refused to extend the September 15 deadline for Chinese company ByteDance to sell its popular video-sharing platform TikTok’s American assets, Reuters reported.
“It’ll either be closed up or they’ll sell it,” Trump said. “There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”
On August 6, Trump had issued executive orders banning transactions with the video app within 45 days if it did not sell off its assets. A week later, he issued another order and gave the company the 90-day ultimatum to close the deal.
Trump has repeatedly alleged that TikTok poses a threat to his country’s national security because of Beijing’s influence
TikTok, on the other hand, has consistently denied the allegations and maintained that the company had “taken extraordinary measures” to protect the privacy of its users.
The platform’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer had resigned on August 26, just two months after his appointment. Mayer’s resignation came after Trump claimed the video app could be used to spy on Americans and ordered a crackdown on its parent company.
Two days before that, TikTok had filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the executive order to block the app from operating in the country. TikTok alleged that Trump’s August 6 order banning the social media platform with no notice or “opportunity to be heard” violated the US’ Fifth Amendment. The company also accused Trump of using the ban to further his “broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric” ahead of the US presidential elections in November.
Trump has been openly critical of China following the coronavirus outbreak, often accusing the country of downplaying the initial stages of the outbreak. In August, he had also terminated three bilateral agreements with Hong Kong in response to China’s imposition of a new national security law in the semi-autonomous region in June.