The TikTok saga may not be over yet. While TikTok talks to US companies for a possible sale, the Chinese government has stepped in. Through the latest move, Beijing made it clear that it wants to play a role in the sale. Reports say that China wants to hold final approval over TikTok’s deal.
China Stepping In
Gizmodo reports that China has updated its export control rules for the first time in 12 years. These rules order Chinese companies on which technologies they can export. With the update, China has added data-based technologies to the list. TikTok uses data-based tech to let users create and share short videos.
Chinese government decides to throw wrench into potential TikTok U.S. deal. https://t.co/eQjKQGW41u pic.twitter.com/PqlJgvCiGg
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) August 31, 2020
If a company gets put on the export control list, they will need to get a Chinese license to export its technology.
More Chinese Moves
In the same report, the Chinese government also seemed to confirm that TikTok will need a license to sell TikTok to a US company. A Chinese professor had published a commentary on Xinhua that said as much. Xinhua is the country’s official news agency.
Professor Cui Fan wrote that the government’s changes to its export control rules might apply to TikTok as well. Fan teaches international trade at the University of International Business and Economics.
In response, ByteDance said it will study the new rules and would follow all applicable laws.
The United States vs. China
The US government has pressured TikTok to sell to US buyers by November 12. If TikTok fails to sell by that date, US President Donald Trump has said he will ban the app. US lawmakers have warned that TikTok sends user data to the Chinese government.
US companies Microsoft, Twitter, Walmart, and Oracle have joined the fray in buying the hit app.