Biden team shelves plan to force TikTok sale: Report

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WASHINGTON: A plan to force the sale of TikTok to American investors has been put on hold as the administration of President Joe Biden reviews the security risks of the popular Chinese-owned video app, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday (Feb 10).

The Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the Biden administration had indefinitely shelved the plan to require the sale of TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, to American tech giant Oracle with Walmart as a retail partner.

The plan by former president Donald Trump was driven by concerns that TikTok and other Chinese online services posed security risks because of their ties to the Beijing government.

The Journal said the new administration is in the midst of a review of data security and ways to prevent the information TikTok collects on American users from being accessed by the Chinese government, but that there would be no imminent move to force the sale.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report from United States officials or from the companies.

READ: Chinese TikTok rival Kuaishou nearly triples on Hong Kong debut

Commentary: Will the TikTok saga in the US lead to the break-up of the Internet industry?

The Trump administration move to ban downloads of TikTok had been stalled amid legal challenges.

TikTok, the wildly popular app with an estimated 100 million US users, has repeatedly defended itself against allegations of data transfers to the Chinese government, saying it stores user information on servers in the US and Singapore.

A tentative deal unveiled by the Trump administration would make Silicon Valley giant Oracle the technology partner for TikTok and a stakeholder in a new entity to be known as TikTok Global.

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