Beijing could block TikTok sale
CHINA could step in to block the sale of TikTok’s US operations after Beijing gave itself new powers to block exports that are believed to cover the popular video app.
The Chinese government updated its restrictions on technology exports for the first time in 12 years, just days before TikTok’s Beijing-based owner ByteDance is due to confirm a sale of the app in America. State media quoted a Chinese professor and government adviser saying the new rules mean ByteDance will need a licence to sell TikTok.
The company is racing to finalise a sale of TikTok’s US business, with bidders including a Microsoft-Walmart coalition and a consortium led by business software giant Oracle.
Donald Trump has issued an executive order saying that if TikTok is not sold by Sept 15, the app will be banned.
While the White House has said the app’s Chinese ownership is a national security threat, Beijing has been relatively silent on the matter until now. Its intervention threatens to complicate or halt any sale of the app, which is likely to be worth more than $20bn (£15bn).
Erich Andersen, general counsel at ByteDance, said: “We are studying the new regulations that were released Friday. As with any cross-border transaction, we will follow the applicable laws, which in this case include those of the US and China.”