(Pocket-lint) - US president Donald Trump has signed a new executive order forcing TikTok owner Bytedance to sell its US operations. However, while it continues to be heavy handed on the social video sharing app, it relaxes the timescale set in a previous executive order.
Originally, Bytedance was given 45 days to sell its US concerns, with a completion date of 15 September, or the company would face several restrictive actions. Now it has 90 days to force through a sale to a US firm such as Microsoft or, as one rumour suggests, Twitter.
A similar order was also made against the Chinese chat app WeChat, but that was stranger still given that its owner Tencent has its fingers in numerous games, social and music companies and removing them from US business is surely unrealistic.
There are also questions about what it means for, example, Apple and Google who carry these apps on their app stores.
According to Bloomberg, Trump said earlier this month: "I don’t mind whether it’s Microsoft or someone else, a big company, a secure company, a very American company buys it."
As well as "protect the data of US citizens" the US Treasury also wants to benefit from the sale: "The order directs ByteDance to divest all interests and rights in any assets or property used to enable or support the operation of TikTok in the United States, and any data obtained or derived from TikTok or Musical.ly users in the United States.
"[The] Committee on Foreign Investments in the US conducted an exhaustive review of the case and unanimously recommended this action to the President in order to protect US users from exploitation of their personal data," said US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. Trump himself had previously said that any deal would have to also help the Treasury.
A week ago, Microsoft said in a blog post it was aiming to buy TikTok’s US operations in the as well as those in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In the post, Microsoft reinforced the point that it "fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States."
TikTok is used to create and share videos. Creators can leverage the app's vast catalogue of sound effects, music, and filters to record short clips of themselves dancing and lip-syncing. There's an untold number of videos to discover, all on varying topics.