TikTok Challenges The White House, Acquisition Talks Ongoing

TikTok is planning to sue the current administration over the executive order which looks to ban interactions with the app.

Aug. 24, 2020

If you’re fortunate enough to have been living under a rock for the past month, you may have missed this story. Otherwise, there’s another twist in the ongoing TikTok saga. It was announced over the weekend that it would, in fact, be going on the attack and suing the Trump administration over its executive order. 

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The order gave a deadline of 45 days, after which it would ban all transactions from U.S. companies with TikTok and its parent company ByteDance. Since then the White House has extended another deadline to the short-form video app, giving it 90 days to divest its U.S. operations. The company is currently in acquisition talks with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has also expressed interest in a possible merger.

A spokesperson for TikTok stated: “To ensure that the rule of law prevails and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system”. However, the challenge won’t affect the ongoing talks with Microsoft or Oracle. An insider has stated that the company is working to ensure its U.S. employees will continue to get paid even if a ban is put in place in the country. 

For a quick rundown of this ongoing saga, check out the quick timeline below: 


July 7: Trump claims his administration is considering a ban on TikTok.

July 22: Federal employees prohibited from using the video-sharing app. 

July 31: Administration considering an order which would force TikTok to divest its U.S. operations. 

August 2: Microsoft confirms they are in talks to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations.

August 6: Executive order issued barring U.S. companies from transacting with ByteDance after 45 days. 

August 8: Wall Street Journal writes that Twitter is exploring “a potential combination” with TikTok. (Yes TikTok is worth more than Twitter, and yes, Twitter shut down its predecessor Vine just four years ago. This one is a bit of a head-scratcher.)

August 14: White House gives a deadline of 90 days to divest its U.S. operations. D-Day is November 12.

August 18: Oracle enters talks to acquire TikTok.

August 22: TikTok announces plans to challenge the executive order of August 6 banning transactions with the company.

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