TikTok Won't Have to Sell For Now, Says Commerce Dept

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

TikTok Won't Have to Sell For Now, Says Commerce Dept
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

TikTok won't be forced to sell, at least not for a while.

The Commerce Department said it won't be enforcing the Thursday deadline imposed by Trump's executive order "pending further legal developments."


Executive Order 13942 would have effectively banned Apple from listing TikTok in the app store today. It also would have prevented companies like Amazon from offering web-hosting service for the platform if it is not sold to an American company.

The Commerce Department, which is responsible for carrying out Trump's order that would have forced a sale by today, released its decision Thursday.

The department cites a Philadelphia court ruling against the shutdown in October. The judge in that case, a lawsuit brought by three TikTokers, said the crackdown lies beyond the government's power.

A handful of other cases are still pending, though. On Tuesday, the company filed a petition requesting an extension on potential divestment. It also called for a review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

While President Trump in September agreed to a deal that would include Walmart and Oracle, TikTok said they hadn't heard an update from the administration in weeks.

It's been months of back and forth between TikTok and the Trump administration stemming from allegations that its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDace, would hand over data to the Chinese government. The video-sharing platform says it has not and would not do that.

In the middle of it all, TikTok's former CEO Kevin Mayer stepped down after about three months on the job. He announced his new role this week, backing media and entertainment companies as a senior advisor for investment firm Access Industries.

TikTok could not immediately be reached for comment.

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