TikTok buyers explore four options to revive buyout talks

(Reuters) – TikTok and its prospective buyers are discussing four options for structuring an acquisition of TikTok’s U.S. operations in the face of hurdles placed in the deal’s way by China’s government, Reuters reports.

Those include buying the operations without key software (though buying TikTok without its key algorithms is a vastly different deal).

Other options under consideration include asking for Chinese approval to pass the algorithm on to the acquirer; arranging for an acquirer to license the algorithm from TikTok owner ByteDance (BDNCE); or looking for a transition period from CFIUS, the U.S. national security panel overseeing the deal, Reuters says.

It’s not clear which option is the favorite, but ByteDance had hoped to pick a buyer this week (chiefly from the team-up of Microsoft (MSFT +1%) and Walmart (WMT -0.5%), or the group led by Oracle (ORCL +1.2%)) in order to meet a mid-September Trump administration deadline. That timeline got thrown into doubt by Beijing’s actions in recent days.