Beijing opposes a forced sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations by its Chinese owner ByteDance, and would prefer to see the short video app shut down in the United States, Reuters reports, citing “three people with direct knowledge of the matter.”
ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok’s U.S. business to potential buyers including Microsoft and Oracle since U.S. President Donald Trump threatened last month to ban the service if it was not sold. Trump has given ByteDance a deadline of mid September to finalise a deal.
However, Chinese officials believe a forced sale would make both ByteDance and China appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation… Two of the sources said China was willing to use revisions it made to a technology exports list on Aug. 28 to delay any deal reached by ByteDance, if it had to.
Trump last month issued two executive orders that require ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. assets or face being banned in the country, where the app is hugely popular among teenagers. U.S. officials have criticised the app’s security and privacy, suggesting that user data might be shared with Beijing.
MacDailyNews Take: The saga continues – for a few more days, at least.