Reuters reported on Friday that Beijing opposes the forced sale of Tik Tok operations in the United States by its Chinese owner, ByteDance, and is preferring to close the short video app in the United States rather than selling it.
And ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok businesses in the United States to potential buyers, including: Microsoft and Oracle, since US President Donald Trump threatened last month to block the service unless the sale was made. Trump gave ByteDance a deadline in mid-September to complete the deal.
However, Chinese officials believe that the forced sale will make ByteDance and China appear vulnerable in the face of Washington’s pressure, sources said Reuters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.
In a statement to Reuters, ByteDance said: The Chinese government has never suggested that it close TikTok in the United States or any other market.
In response to Friday’s question about Trump and Tik Tok, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman (Zhao Lijian) said at a regular press conference: The United States is misusing the concept of national security, urging it to stop cracking down on foreign companies.
Reuters had previously reported that potential buyers of TikTok were discussing four ways to structure the acquisition from ByteDance. One of those ways is for the latter to proceed with selling US TikTok assets without the approval of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce by selling them without major algorithms.
US officials criticized TikTok’s security and privacy, noting the possibility of sharing user data with Beijing. The company said: It will not comply with any request to share user data with the Chinese authorities.
Beijing said: It strongly opposes Trump’s executive orders, and on August 28, it moved to give its opinion on the process, and to review the list of technologies that will need approval from the Chinese government before they are exported. The experts said that TikTok’s recommendation algorithm would fall under this list.