If China had its way, it would just let TikTok die quietly, like Vine. This report came Friday after sources said China would try to delay TikTok’s sale to a US buyer as long as possible.
China and the TikTok Sale
Reuters reported Friday that China was willing to use its new export control rules to delay the TikTok sale. Moreover, sources told Reuters that China would never allow US President Donald Trump to make ByteDance and China look weak. In response to Trump, China would instead let TikTok shut down in the US and other markets. China would not allow ByteDance to yield to US threats and sell to various US companies.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) September 12, 2020
How Would China Protect TikTok?
After 12 years, China has revised its export control rules. These rules control the kind of tech China could export to other countries. With the revisions in place, China could stop exports of specific tech without a government license.
Also, with the revised rules, China is including TikTok’s “data analysis” tech in its export list. In short, TikTok couldn’t sell to any buyer without getting Chinese approval.
The Reuters report seems to imply that China revised its export rules to stop TikTok from selling to the US.
The United States vs. TikTok
Donald Trump had already warned TikTok to sell to one of its several suitors: Microsoft, Twitter, and Walmart, among others. He had set a deadline of mid-September for the deal. Earlier, US lawmakers had accused TikTok of sending user data to the Chinese government. In August, Trump had also threatened to ban TikTok in the US.
TikTok is a massively popular video-sharing app, with 500 million global users. In 2019, over 46 million users downloaded the app.