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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

What now: The source says that CFIUS is not providing another formal extension, but rather a de facto continuation as the two sides carry on with negotiations.

  • Talks had ground to a halt around the election, but have picked back up again in recent weeks, with some outstanding issues newly resolved.
  • The proposed plan, which President Trump agreed to in principle back in September, would be for TikTok to be controlled by a group of U.S. entities, including Oracle, Walmart and several venture capital firms, with ByteDance to retain a minority stake.

CFIUS still could ask the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce the order and take action against ByteDance, given that no formal extension has been provided.

  • Trump's executive order that TikTok be shut down in the U.S. — which is different than the CFIUS order — has been temporarily restrained by the courts.

What they're saying: "The Committee is engaging with ByteDance to complete the divestment and other steps necessary to resolve the national security risks arising from the transaction, consistent with the President's August 14 Order," a Treasury spokesperson said Friday evening, after this story originally published.

Go deeper

Trump bans transactions with eight Chinese software apps

Trump speaking at a rally in Dalton, Georgia, on Jan. 4. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that prohibits transactions with eight Chinese software applications, claiming they pose a national security threat given their ability to access private information about their users.

Why it matters: The order comes two weeks before Trump leaves office, and it remains unclear whether President-elect Biden will continue enforcing Trump’s bans on Chinese companies.

Jan 6, 2021 - World

New York Stock Exchange again says it will delist 3 Chinese telecoms

The New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 18. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The New York Stock Exchange again reversed course Wednesday and announced it would delist three major Chinese telecom companies — China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom Hong Kong.

The backdrop: The NYSE originally announced it would delist the companies on New Year's Eve in order to comply with a White House executive order. The exchange then reversed course late on Monday and said it would no longer delist the telecoms.

Drought, record heat wave in West tied to climate change

People on Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, California, U.S., June 16, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prolonged and widespread heat wave in the West, along with the region's increasingly severe drought, is a sign of how climate change has already tilted the odds in favor of such extremes, studies show.

Why it matters: The rapidly growing Southwest, in particular, is also the nation's fastest-warming region. The combination of heat and drought could lead to a repeat, or even eclipse, the severity of 2020's wildfire season in California and other states.