This story was originally published and last updated .
The 90-day deadline imposed upon TikTok owner ByteDance to sell its US assets was up on Thursday, November 12, but the company said it's received no feedback from the US administration committee overseeing the proposed deal in the past two months. ByteDance has therefore applied for a 30-day extension and filed a US Court of Appeals petition seeking clarity on the matter. And finally, the Commerce Department has answered, saying that it wouldn't enforce its order yet.
The Commerce Department said in a statement on Thursday that the ban "will not go into effect, pending further legal developments." It's citing a preliminary injunction against its ban back in September, decided by a District Judge in Philadelphia after three US TikTok content creators filed a lawsuit. According to the WSJ, the judge said that the proposed shutdown "presents a threat to the ‘robust exchange of informational materials’" and would exceed the government's authority. The Commerce Department is complying with that order.
That means TikTok will remain accessible to Americans unchanged for now. The Trump administration asked TikTok owner ByteDance to sell its US operations to a US company, and an intricate deal involving Oracle and Walmart was agreed, in principle, back in September, but the US administration is said to have gone quiet since initially approving the arrangement. This is perhaps unsurprising given the Trump camp's attention will have been fixed firmly on the election in recent weeks, as well as the ensuing fallout.
In a statement provided to The Verge ahead of the Commerce Department's response, the TikTok team reiterated its commitment to working with the US authorities to address security concerns and meet the requirements, but it's unable to do so without ongoing cooperation. It's unclear what will happen on Thursday when the deadline passes, but — presumably — the TikTok app on American phones won't instantly disappear into the ether.
Read the full TikTok statement below:
“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment. In the nearly two months since the President gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement – but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.
Today, with the November 12 CFIUS deadline imminent and without an extension in hand, we have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US. We remain committed to working with the Administration — as we have all along — to resolve the issues it has raised, but our legal challenge today is a protection to ensure these discussions can take place.”
Commerce Department statement
The article has been updated with the statement from the Commerce Department.