China would rather see TikTok shut down than bow to US pressure

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Illustration from article titled China Rather See TikTok Going Down the Vineyard Than Bowing to U.S. Pressure: Report

Photo: Manjunath Kiran | (Getty Images)

the international chicken game between China and the Trump administration on TikTok is starting to sound like an episode of “The Bachelor” at this point, with contenders like Microsoft, Twitter, and Walmart competing for the app’s US assets in the face of a possible ban. Apparently, however, China would prefer to choose option d) None of the above.

Chinese officials believe capitulating to the Trump administration’s demands would undermine the authority of ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok, and Beijing by making them appear weak, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Friday on condition of anonymity. Rather than seeing ByteDance engage in a hard sell of US TikTok operations to avoid the threat of White House crackdown, Beijing would rather see the app shut down completely, both in the US and on others. markets.

Two of the sources told Reuters Chinese officials were prepared to delay the ByteDance deal using the country recently updated export control rules if needed. Last month, China revised its technology export list for the first time in 12 years to require a federal license to export “data analytics-based technologies for referral services.” personalized information ”, which is very similar to what TikTok uses.

Asked about President Donald Trump and the TikTok deal during a press briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused the United States of heavily arming foreign companies under cover of trouble national security.

In case you haven’t been following all of this drama, Trump and other federal officials claim Beijing used TikTok to spy on its US users. The popular short-lived video app has some 500 million users worldwide and has seen 46 million downloads in the United States in 2019 alone. To date, TikTok has vehemently denied these claims and repeatedly stated that all US user data is stored on national servers. As the company took steps to move US TikTok operations further away from ByteDance, the administration continued to scare, with Trump issuing an executive order. in August which threatened to effectively ban the app in the United States unless ByteDance cedes ownership.

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Trump gave the company a deadline to hand over U.S. assets to TikTok before the ban goes into effect, even though it seems a little blurry on when exactly it is. Zero hour could be a few days or it could be on September 20 or it could be all the way November. Just like TikTok plays his own twisted version of “The Bachelor,” Trump obviously plays “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: Everything is made up and dates don’t matter!

[[[[Reuters]

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