Left Menu
Development News Edition

EXCLUSIVE-China would rather see TikTok U.S. close than a forced sale - sources

TikTok has said it would not comply with any request to share user data with the Chinese authorities. Beijing has said it firmly opposes Trump's executive orders and on Aug. 28 moved to give itself a say in the process, revising a list of technologies that will need Chinese government approval before they are exported.

Reuters | Updated: 14-09-2020 05:58 IST | Created: 14-09-2020 05:58 IST
EXCLUSIVE-China would rather see TikTok U.S. close than a forced sale - sources

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, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday. 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.

ByteDance said in a statement to Reuters that the Chinese government had never suggested to it that it should shut down TikTok in the United States or in any other markets. 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.

China's State Council Information Office and its foreign and commerce ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent after working hours. Asked on Friday about Trump and TikTok, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing that the United States was abusing the concept of national security, and urged it to stop oppressing foreign companies.

CLASH BETWEEN POWERS Reuters has reported that TikTok’s prospective buyers were discussing four ways to structure an acquisition from ByteDance.

Within these, ByteDance could still push ahead with a sale of TikTok's U.S. assets without approval from China's commerce ministry by selling them without key algorithms. ByteDance and its founder Zhang Yiming have been caught in a clash between the world's two preeminent powers.

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. TikTok has said it would not comply with any request to share user data with the Chinese authorities.

Beijing has said it firmly opposes Trump's executive orders and on Aug. 28 moved to give itself a say in the process, revising a list of technologies that will need Chinese government approval before they are exported. Experts said TikTok's recommendation algorithm would fall under this list. Chinese regulators said last week the rules were not targeted at specific companies but they reaffirmed their right to enforce them.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Pandemic-era FinCEN leaks ratchet up the urgency of lifting the veil on financial secrecy

As the coronavirus pandemic reverses decades of gains in combatting inequality, its more urgent than ever that authorities excise the dirty money that has metastasized within the financial systems guts....

Videos

Latest News

Ireland aiming to return to Level 3 restrictions by Dec.1, PM says

The Irish government is aiming to return to Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions at the end of the six week period on the highest stage, Level 5, that will kick in this week, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Monday.In order to do so, the gove...

UK government extends price cap on energy bills to end of 2021

The British government said on Monday it has extended its price cap on the most common form of gas and electricity tariffs for millions of UK households until the end of next year. The cap was introduced in January 2019 to put a lid on stan...

Ghislaine Maxwell loses bid to keep her Jeffrey Epstein testimony secret

A U.S. appeals court on Monday dealt Ghislaine Maxwell a blow by refusing to block the release of a deposition she gave concerning her relationship with the late financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Co...

Canada criticizes Chinese ambassador's remarks, which embassy says were misinterpreted

Canada on Monday criticized remarks by the Chinese ambassador to Ottawa last week about Hong Kong protesters, in the latest round of a long-running diplomatic dispute tied to the arrest of a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive in Vancouver...

Give Feedback