President Trump reaffirmed the September 20 deadline for the sale of TikTok to a U.S. company, and said there was no possibility of an extension.
Although TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, claims to be in discussions with the U.S. government to avoid the upcoming ban, President Trump told reporters that the September 20 deadline is inviolable.
"Either we shut it down or we sell it, there will be no extension of the TikTok deadline," Trump told Reuters.
The sale of the social media company is likely to be a complex process, now also hampered by the Chinese government's restrictions on the export of intelligence. However, if the sale is to be finalized by September 20, it is likely that it will not or cannot be formally concluded by that date.
Currently, the most likely buyer is a partnership between Microsoft and Walmart. Although an agreement expected by mid-August has not been reached, the two companies would still be negotiating with TikTok.
"We believe that a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could ... provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnicanal customers as well as expand our third-party market and advertising business" - Walmart.
Other companies have sometimes expressed interest in buying the TikTok line from Oracle to Twitter and even Apple. Regardless of who buys it, the change in ownership will require sufficient restructuring to cause TikTok's CEO, Kevin Mayer, to resign, saying the position was no longer the "global role" he had committed to.