TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance files petition with US court to delay deadline set by Trump administration for it to restructure ownership in the country, saying it needs more clarity on whether its proposed solutions were acceptable to Washington.

TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken on November 27, 2019.
TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken on November 27, 2019. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump's administration has said it is still working to resolve its security concerns over Chinese-owned app TikTok after the firm sought to delay a deadline to sell its US operations.

Chinese company ByteDance has until Thursday to restructure ownership of the app in the United States to meet national security concerns, but it filed a petition in a Washington court this week asking for a delay.

The company said in a Tuesday statement that it had asked the government for a 30-day extension because of "continual new requests and no clarity on whether our proposed solutions would be accepted," but it had not been granted.

On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department said in a statement it "remains focused on reaching a resolution of the national security risks arising from ByteDance's acquisition of Musical.ly".

ByteDance had established TikTok in the United States three years ago by buying Musical.ly – a lip-syncing video app that was already present in the country – and merging the two platforms together.

The Treasury department disputed the firm's allegations of a lack of clarity from the government, saying "we have been clear with ByteDance regarding the steps necessary" to reach a resolution.

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Data harvesting claims 

The Trump administration has been seeking to ban the app in the US, citing the risk of it handing over American user data to Beijing.

The company flatly denies the allegations.

Trump signed a set of orders against the video platform this summer.

One required ByteDance to sell its US TikTok operations within 90 days, citing national security concerns.

The company also faced an order that would effectively ban the app from the country by the same date.

But on October 30, a Pennsylvania judge issued an injunction temporarily blocking the order aimed at banning it.

The order would have knocked the Chinese-owned video-sharing app offline by cutting it off from US businesses providing website hosting, data storage and other fundamentals needed to operate.

The Trump administration has appealed the ruling.

ByteDance and TikTok have proposed creating a new company with IT firm Oracle as a technology partner and retail giant Walmart as a business partner.

The plan seemed to convince the administration, but the platform is still awaiting a green light.

TikTok has 100 million users in the United States.

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Source: AFP