Feb 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

White House hits pause on TikTok talks

Animated illustration of text-in-progress ellipsis made up of periods stylized like the TikTok logo.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration reportedly paused negotiations with China's ByteDance about spinning out TikTok's U.S. operations into an independent entity.

Why it matters: This is part of a wider White House review of Trump-era policies toward Chinese tech companies, some of which had bipartisan support.

  • Biden never took a public position on the TikTok situation while campaigning, but last July did instruct his staff to remove the app from their phones.

Details: Under terms of the discussed TikTok deal, ByteDance would remain a TikTok shareholder, alongside several venture capital firms, Oracle and Walmart.

  • The administration also asked a federal judge to delay litigation that would ban TikTok in the U.S. if the spinout did not happen.

Bottom line: Beijing and ByteDance seemed to be waiting out Trump. It might have worked.

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