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TikTok seeks extension from U.S. as Thursday divesture deadline looms

The U.S. has argued that it is trying to prevent data on American TikTok users from being shared with the Chinese government.


Associated Press

TikTok and its Chinese parent company are asking a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., for additional time to work out a potential divestiture of the popular video-sharing app, in the midst of signs that the company is settling in for a longer fight with the U.S. government.

With the Trump administration’s Thursday deadline looming for a restructuring or shutdown of TikTok, it appeared the government was losing at least some of its leverage over the app’s owner.

Already, a federal district court judge in Philadelphia has enjoined enforcement of the shutdown option, taking away the government’s main weapon in forcing a divestiture.

The new suit, if it succeeds, broadens the legal assault by TikTok and parent company ByteDance Ltd. by asking the courts to overturn the government’s legal basis for ordering the divestiture as well.

“The Treasury Department remains focused on reaching a resolution of the national security risks” from TikTok, department spokeswoman Monica Crowley said in a statement late Wednesday. “We have been clear with ByteDance regarding the steps necessary to achieve that resolution.”

The new petition, which TikTok and ByteDance filed late Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, represents the latest in a series of legal challenges by TikTok and its allies that seek to undermine the Trump administration’s crackdown campaign.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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