TikTok’s parent company is preparing to shut down its US operations in the event a sale doesn’t materialize in the coming months, according to a report.
President Trump signed an executive order earlier this month directing ByteDance to either sell the TikTok business in the United States to a “very American company” or to prohibit it from operating in the country.
Although TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, is close to reaching a deal with Microsoft and Walmart, it told engineers in a memorandum to draw up contingency plans to take down the mega-popular video platform, according to Reuters.
The Chinese company is also making separate plans for TikTok’s American employees and vendors to be compensated in case the app is banned. TikTok has already implemented a hiring freeze in the US for most open positions due to uncertainty surrounding their future, according to the report.
However, ByteDance does not anticipate the need to hit the kill switch, and a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement that the company “is confident that we will reach a resolution that ensures that TikTok is here for the long term.”
“As any responsible company would, we are simultaneously developing plans to try to ensure that our American employees continue to collect on any outcome,” they said.
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned from his position Thursday after he reportedly stayed out of sale negotiations with Microsoft and Oracle.
Walmart has confirmed its interest in the app, saying it expects TikTok to provide “an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers, as well as grow our third-party market and our advertising business.”
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