ByteDance Prepared to Shut Down TikTok in US Rather Than Sell: Report

ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, is reportedly willing to close down the popular social media app in the United States rather than sell it, according to a report by Reuters.

This decision comes in response to potential legal challenges facing TikTok, including the recent legislation signed by President Joe Biden that could lead to a ban on the app in the US.

According to sources cited in the report, ByteDance views a sale of TikTok as unlikely due to the critical role of the app’s algorithms in its overall operations. Despite TikTok constituting only a small portion of ByteDance’s total revenues and user base, the company is hesitant to part with its algorithm, which is integral to its business model.

Closing down TikTok in the US would allow ByteDance to maintain control over its algorithm while minimizing the impact on its broader business operations. However, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, expressed confidence in the company’s ability to overcome legal challenges, stating that they will continue to fight for their rights in court.

The deadline for ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok’s US operations is set for January 19, 2025, with the possibility of an extension if the company demonstrates progress towards a sale.

Earlier reports suggested that ByteDance was exploring options to sell a majority stake in TikTok’s US business, preferably to a non-tech industry company while retaining control over the app’s algorithm.

Despite these reports, ByteDance has denied any plans to sell TikTok, emphasizing that such rumors are untrue.

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