WASHINGTON—A potential deal between the Biden administration and TikTok—once expected around year-end—has run into more delays, according to people familiar with the situation, as worry grows over national-security concerns that U.S. officials say the popular app poses.
The review has dragged on amid a range of concerns, including how TikTok might share information related to the algorithm it uses to determine what videos to show users, and the level of trust Washington would need to place in the company, these people said. U.S. officials haven’t returned to TikTok with additional demands to address the recent concerns, some of the people said, leaving the path forward unclear.
A TikTok spokeswoman said the company is looking forward to a “timely conclusion to our agreement with the U.S. government, much of which we have already started implementing in earnest, so that we can put these concerns to rest.” She said the government hasn’t shared any remaining, unmet concerns with the company.
The delay is raising political risks for TikTok and its owner, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., as both Biden administration officials and newly-empowered congressional Republicans amp up their rhetoric on the company. ByteDance has spent around $9 million lobbying in Washington over the past two years, according to disclosure reports.