ByteDance may want to split off TikTok in the US

The Chinese ByteDance may want to spin off TikTok in the United States. If a deal with the US government falls through, the company fears the app may be banned in the US. A division should prevent that.

It may be a sale of the American branch or an IPO, says Bloomberg. The company sees the split from the American branch of TikTok as a last resort to prevent a ban on the app. Politicians in the US want to ban the app because of the risk of espionage. ByteDance is a Chinese company and the Chinese government can therefore request and view all user data of Western users.

To avoid a ban, TikTok has proposed to store all data of American users with Oracle in the US. Oracle may also inspect the code together with a regulator designated by the US government. This includes the current source code and changes in updates.

There is not yet a concrete proposal for a ban on TikTok in Europe, although EU officials and many Member States are not allowed to have the app on their phones due to the same fear of espionage. In Europe, TikTok also wants to store data from European users in a data center of a European company and have the code inspected. It is not yet known which European company will do that.