The technology war between the US and China has claimed multiple companies, with none knowing the wrath of the two countries more than TikTok. At this point, TikTok has become a political tool, both for the U.S. and Chinese governments, as a new report from Reuters states that China would rather see the app killed than have it being sold to an American company.
People familiar with the matter said that a forced sale would not only make ByteDance look weak, but China as well. And it goes without saying, the Beijing administration does not want to look weak. Thus, it’s possible that the government might use the new exports rules it announced on August 28, that allowed it to have a say in the commerce of AI based technologies like TikTok, to stop the company from going through with a deal.
Moreover, this news comes just ahead of a deadline set by President Donald Trump for September 20, after which U.S. companies will be unable to do any transactions with ByteDance, and the preclude prospect of a TikTok deal. Thus, any companies that were trying to get a piece of the action (and there were a lot) will probably be disgruntled by the news.
So far, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Oracle, Walmart and many others have shown interest in buying up the platform. In fact, it was the idea of a deal with Microsoft that led to Donald Trump reconsidering an immediate ban, and instead provide an ultimatum.
However, China moved to give itself a say in the deal on August 28, designing rules that would specifically empower it to decided the fate of the platform.
TikTok has been under scrutiny, not from just America, for a lot of reasons. Many speculate that it poses a threat to privacy and social security because of ByteDance’s close ties with the Chinese government. This is why it was banned in India a few months back. Now, it looks like the US is going to follow in the footsteps of its ally country.