TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is currently racing against the clock where they need to find a buyer for TikTok’s US operations by the 15th of September or risk getting banned. Microsoft is currently the favorite to acquire the company, but with all deals, there is always a chance that it might fail and fall through.
So much so that according to a report from Reuters, ByteDance is not taking any chances and is reportedly drafting up a contingency plan for if that happens and the app does get banned. The contingency plan comes in the form of a memo where ByteDance is asking TikTok engineers to draw up plans on how to shut down the app in the US if a ban does go into effect.
They are also asking that TikTok’s US employees and vendors to be compensated in the event of a shutdown, and for now, it seems that a hiring freeze has already been put into effect due to the uncertainty regarding the future of the company’s operations in the US. Obviously ByteDance would love to keep TikTok up and running, but it would be prudent to have a backup plan in case that fails.
A deal to acquire TikTok would also need to be approved by both the US and Chinese governments, so there are a lot of moving parts which could potentially result in a deal falling through.