Beijing / Shanghai:
China’s new rules on technology exports mean ByteDance’s sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations could require Beijing’s approval, a Chinese trade expert told state media, a requirement that would make the forced and politically charged sale difficult.
ByteDance was hired by President Donald Trump to sell the short video app TikTok – which questions the order – in the US because of security concerns about the personal data it processes.
Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp are among the applicants for the assets, which include TikTok’s operations in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
However, China revised a list of technologies banned or restricted for export for the first time in 12 years late Friday, and Cui Fan, professor of international trade at Beijing University of International Economics, said the changes apply would become TikTok.
“If ByteDance plans to export related technologies, it should go through licensing procedures,” said Cui in an interview with Xinhua published on Saturday.
ByteDance said Sunday that it took note of the changes to China’s technology export list on Friday and that it will strictly follow the rules when handling related matters. This comes from a statement posted on his official account with Jinri Toutiao, a proprietary news aggregator app.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has added 23 items to the restricted list – including technologies such as push services for personal information based on data analysis and interactive interface technology for artificial intelligence.
It can take up to 30 days to obtain preliminary approval to export the technology.
TikTok’s secret weapon is believed to be the recommendation engine that keeps users on their screens. This engine or algorithm supports TikTok’s “For You” page, which recommends the next video based on an analysis of your behavior.
Cui noted that ByteDance’s development overseas relied on the domestic technology that provided the core algorithm and that the company may need to transfer software code or usage rights to the new owner of TikTok from China overseas.
“As a result, ByteDance is advised to seriously review the customized catalog and carefully consider whether there is a need to suspend negotiations on a sale,” he added.
China’s State Department has stated that it will oppose the executive orders Trump issued to TikTok and that Beijing will defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)