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TikTok Deadline Gets Extension…to Black Friday

Adriana Lee
·2 min read

The deadline for TikTok to separate from its China-based parent company has been extended two weeks by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, according to a court filing submitted Friday.

In a statement, the Treasury Department said, “This extension will provide the parties and the committee additional time to resolve this case in a manner that complies with the order.” The comment refers to a Trump executive order from August that demanded ByteDance, the owner of the short-video platform, divest from the app by Nov. 12.

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The extension from CFIUS, whose purview covers U.S. businesses owned by foreign companies, comes a day after the original cut-off date and two days after TikTok appealed to the courts to intervene and vacate or delay the mandate.

TikTok now has until Nov. 27, in a timeline that could complicate potential Black Friday plans for the platform. Also for any brand partners eager to connect with the app’s more than 100 million U.S. users during the holiday kickoff.

What happens at that point isn’t clear.

Members of the interagency CFIUS come from several U.S. departments. One of them is the Commerce Department, which said Thursday it would back off enforcement of an order that would bar transactions with the app, effectively shutting it down. The reversal came after a federal judge in Pennsylvania wrote in an October opinion that the move to prohibit transactions with TikTok was an overstep of the department’s authority.

“The secretary’s prohibition of identified transactions pursuant to Executive Order 13942, related to TikTok, has been enjoined, and will not go into effect, pending further legal developments,” the department said.

The developer has been negotiating with U.S. tech giants, hoping such investments would appease the Trump administration’s national security concerns. In August, President Trump signed executive orders targeting TikTok and WeChat, both of which are tech businesses with Chinese lineage.

After discussions with Microsoft broke down, an arrangement with Oracle and Walmart Inc. emerged as the frontrunner and even received Trump’s preliminary blessing — that is, until questions surfaced over whether the group would actually have majority control over the business and its technology.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the CFIUS extension. But in a previous statement, the developer said there hasn’t been any “substantive” communication from the administration recently.

The latest development shifts the time line on the app’s mandate, but it’s hard to predict what enforcement would look like then. With the Commerce Department sidelined, it’s possible that Trump’s Treasury Department would sue ByteDance, if it doesn’t step aside.

Commerce has the power to do that. But after a presidential election that has seemingly consumed all of the oxygen in the administration, whether Trump officials still have the will is an open question.