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US delays ban on downloading TikTok until 27 September

Agence France-Presse

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The US Department of Commerce announced Saturday (Sunday, Philippine time) that it is postponing until at least 27 September the ban on downloading the popular TikTok video-sharing app in the United States, which was to take effect on Sunday (Monday, Philippine time).

This decision was taken “in light of recent positive developments,” according to a press release issued shortly after Chinese-owned TikTok confirmed a proposed agreement on the management of its US operations involving Oracle as a technology partner and Walmart as a business partner.

TikTok announced Saturday it had prepared a deal with Oracle as its US technology provider and Walmart as a commercial partner, the day before a federal ban was to go into effect against the Chinese-owned platform.

“We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the US Administration and settle questions around TikTok’s future in the US,” a spokeswoman for TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, told AFP.

Oracle will become the “trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all US user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied,” the spokeswoman said. “We are currently working with Walmart on a commercial partnership as well.”

US President Donald Trump had earlier touted a “fantastic” deal between TikTok, Oracle and Walmart, saying he had given the deal his “blessing.”

“I have given the deal my blessing,” he said. “If they get it done, that’s great, if they don’t, that’s OK too.”

Trump has claimed for weeks that TikTok is collecting user data for Beijing, without ever providing evidence for his allegations.

In early August, he gave ByteDance until September 20 to hand over TikTok’s US operations to an American company.

And on Friday (Saturday, Philippine time) the Trump administration ordered a ban on downloads of the video-sharing app, as well as Chinese-owned messaging platform WeChat, escalating a fight with Beijing over technology.

Following TikTok’s announcement, the US delayed the ban on downloading the app.

Trump said the “security will be 100 percent” and that the companies will use separate cloud servers.

The deal will lead to the creation of a new company, headquartered in Texas, that will have “nothing to do with China” but will still be called TikTok, according to the president.

Trump also said that the companies involved will make a $5 billion contribution toward “the education of American youth.” He had previously said that the federal government deserved a cut of the deal for authorizing it.

TikTok’s spokeswoman only confirmed the creation of the new jobs and that the company’s global headquarters would remain in the US.

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