The international game of chicken between China and the Trump administration on TikTok is starting to look like an episode of “The Bachelor” at this point, with suitors like Microsoft, Twitter, is Walmart compete for the app’s U.S. assets in the face of a possible ban. Apparently, however, China would prefer to choose option d) None of the above.
Chinese officials reportedly believe capitulation to the Trump administration’s demands would undermine the authority of both ByteDance, TikTok’s China-based parent company, and Beijing by making them appear weak, three people told Reuters who have familiar with the matter Friday on condition of anonymity. Rather than seeing ByteDance engage in a forced sale of TikTok’s US operations to avoid the threat of White House crackdown, Beijing would prefer the app shut down completely, both in the US and in other markets.
Two of the sources told Reuters that Chinese officials were willing to delay any agreement reached by ByteDance using the country’s. newly updated export control rules if necessary. Last month, China revised its technology export list for the first time in 12 years to apply for a federal license to export “data analytics technology for personalized information recommendation services,” which sounds very similar. what TikTok uses.
When asked about President Donald Trump and the TikTok deal at a press conference on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the United States of forcibly arming foreign companies under the pretext of national security concerns.
In case you haven’t kept up with all this drama, Trump and other federal officials say Beijing used TikTok to spy on its US users. The popular short form video app showcases around 500 million users worldwide and has seen 46 million downloads in the US only in 2019. To date, TikTok has vehemently denied these allegations and repeatedly claimed that all US user data is stored on home servers. As the company moved to further distance TikTok’s US operations from ByteDance, the administration moved on with its fear, with Trump issuing an executive order. in August which threatened to effectively ban the app in the US unless ByteDance relinquished ownership.
Trump gave the company a deadline to deliver TikTok’s U.S. assets before the ban went into effect, although looks a bit confused when it is exactly that. The zero hour could be there are only a few days left or it might be on September 20 or it could be all inside November. Just as TikTok stars in his twisted version of “The Bachelor”, Trump is evidently playing “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: Everything is made up and dates don’t matter!