What you need to know
- ByteDance is asking TikTok engineers to prepare for a ban in the United States.
- The company is also preparing compensation for United States employees.
- Such a plan will only be necessary if a sale of U.S. operations falls through.
ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, is making contingency plans in case it needs to shut down operations in the United States.
Reported by Reuters, the company has told engineers of the app to prepare for a shutdown of U.S. operations, even as the app is rumored to be close to a sale to companies like Microsoft, Walmart, and Oracle. Bytedance may be choosing to sell the U.S. operations of its app to one of the companies as early as Friday.
According to the report, such a sale would have to be approved by both the United States and Chinese government, so ByteDance is preparing for the case in which one or both countries block the sale.
As far as its employees in the United States, ByteDance is also preparing to compensate those affected by a shutdown if it does occur. This seems to be the worst-case scenario for the company, who plans to reach a deal in order to avoid shuttering operations.
A spokesperson for TikTok says that the company is currently working hard to prepare for either outcome.
Sources close to the situation asked to remain anonymous. ByteDance did not respond to Reuters' request for comment.
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