Is This The Weekend That The App Finally Begins To Die?

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The end is nigh for TikTok. Again.

Beginning Sunday night, new downloads of the social media app could be banned in America, the result of a executive order issued by President Trump last month. Originally, this ban was going to take effect last Sunday—but then the Commerce Department gave TikTok a one-week extension to work out a deal for the Chinese-owned app to sell itself to a U.S. firm.

ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, has such a deal worked out with Oracle
ORCL
and Walmart
WMT
, though the exact terms of those negotiations are unclear. Each side made conflicting comments earlier this week about the ownership stakes and about who would control the company.

The White House is insisting that ByteDance divest TikTok out of professed fears that ByteDance will mishandle user data and face pressure from China’s government. TikTok has become the hottest new app in the world and the most popular new social network to emerge since Snapchat. It has over 100 million users in America and nearly 700 million across the world after two years of skyrocket growth.

Trump has signed off on Oracle and Walmart leading a deal to acquire TikTok, and the fate of the transaction rests now with the Chinese government. According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese officials are reviewing the deal but worry it would set a dangerous precedent for other Chinese companies, making them vulnerable to similar pressure to leave China if they grow too competitive with foreign rivals. State media in China has panned the deal, labeling the Trump administration’s pressure on ByteDance as “bullying” and dismissing the White House’s worries about TikTok as “hooligan logic.”

TikTok has asked a federal judge to temporarily block the ban, and the White House may be dragged into a weekend court appearance over that legal action. It’s hard to tell what the outcome of that legal maneuver could be.

The ban would begin at midnight on Sunday evening, commencing what could be a slow death for the app. People who’ve already downloaded the app would be able to keep using it, but the company wouldn’t be able to add new users, and the download prohibition would likely prompt users to begin focusing on other apps.

Another Trump-imposed deadline looms on Nov. 12, the day when another executive order would essentially end all of TikTok’s operations in America. The company acknowledged in a court filing this week that a full ban in the U.S., such as the one that could begin in November, would devastate its business across the world—even if it was lifted after a few months.

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