The path ahead for the US-TikTok deal looks blurred, as the US officials leading the talks haven’t gotten back to TikTok with any additional demands recently. Earlier this summer, TikTok had reached a tentative agreement with the United States government. However, several senior officials and lawmakers felt the deal was inadequate, indicating more demands could be made to address a variety of concerns. The potential deal was expected around the year-end, but it is facing delays amid growing concerns over national security and data usage.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has been leading the talks on behalf of the US government with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance Ltd. As per the Committee’s earlier recommendations, TikTok had agreed to store American users’ data on Oracle servers in the US instead of its data centres in Virginia and Singapore. Both sides had also agreed that the control over US users’ private data would be monitored and overseen by Oracle.
However, what worries TikTok is no communication on any unmet concerns from CFIUS. A TikTok spokesperson said that ByteDance is hoping for a “timely conclusion to our agreement with the US government, much of which we have already started implementing in earnest so that we can put these concerns to rest.”
Experts believe that any delay in finalizing the US-TikTok deal or banning TikTok in the United States will benefit the latter’s competitors, Meta and Google, directly. TikTok users would reallocate their time spent on the app to Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and SNAP’s Spotlight. One can only wait and watch how the US-TikTok deal shapes while the clock ticks down for TikTok.