Is TikTok supported by the Chinese government
New export rules China is raising barriers to selling TikTok
The race for the future of TikTok's business in the US is entering the final round. According to reports from the New York Times, there are currently two bidders in the final for the successful video sharing app: Microsoft, now flanked by the supermarket chain Walmart, and the software company Oracle. TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance is set to make a decision in the coming days.
But while a solution to the techno-diplomatic crisis is looming on the US side, China unexpectedly raised the hurdles: In a diplomatic maneuver, the Chinese Ministry of Economic Affairs updated a list on Friday of technologies that can only be sold abroad with approval . New on the list: data analysis and artificial intelligence. So two areas that TikTok is particularly proud of.
The state news agency also published an interview with a Chinese professor of international trade on Saturday. His interpretation: ByteDance probably now needs an export permit in order to be able to sell TikTok to a US company. Beijing apparently wants to have the final say on the matter.
In a fix between two superpowers
TikTok is the most successful app ever published by a Chinese company to date. It was already clear to the buyers who are vying to take over the US business that they were in the midst of a diplomatic dispute between two superpowers. Because the US government has been increasing the pressure on TikTok for weeks. Most recently, Trump had ordered that nobody in the US was allowed to do business with ByteDance and that the Chinese company had to separate from all US user data.
Now the dispute is escalating. Anyone who takes over TikTok despite the Chinese muscle games must now fear that they will mess with the Chinese leadership.
In a way, China’s leadership is taking on the ball that the US government has passed them. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had repeatedly referred to TikTok as a threat to national security over the past few months - a view that Trump later took up in his decrees against ByteDance. Now China is also making it clear that it regards the company and its technologies as security-relevant - and could prevent a sale in case of doubt.
Dominance in the digital space
Dennis-Kenji Kipker, a lawyer who researches international cybersecurity, says the move was foreseeable. "I was surprised anyway that the Chinese state stayed out of it for so long." Ultimately, China is not about the app or the Bytedance company, but about dominance in the digital space.
Fergus Ryan, who studies China's IT policy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), says the measure could serve to give ByteDance better leverage for negotiations and thus drive up the price. "Most of all, it is fascinating that Beijing apparently regards the content of TikTok's algorithm as a question of state security."
It is unclear whether China will actually block sales of the app in the end. Should that happen, it would be a hard financial blow to ByteDance. TikTok is currently said to have 100 million active users in the USA, TikTok disclosed these numbers in a lawsuit against the US government. At the same time, the Chinese leadership would push Trump into a corner. Because if a sale should fail and the app actually thrown out of the app stores in the US, Trump would be the anger of US users: inside, for sure.
Would you like more critical reporting?
Our work at netzpolitik.org is financed almost exclusively by voluntary donations from our readers. With an editorial staff of currently 15 people, this enables us to journalistically work on many important topics and debates in a digital society. With your support, we can clarify even more, conduct investigative research much more often, provide more background information - and defend even more fundamental digital rights!
You too can support our work now with yours Donation.
About the author
- How can I charge my 4G dongle?
- Can live a question without a topic
- What are Martina McBride's musical influences
- A narcissist will admit lying
- Most beautiful girl alive
- Is Special K healthy
- How can I learn LinkedIn Marketing
- If vector times vector equals scalar like
- What was the first unmanned aerial vehicle
- Is LPR curable
- What was the gay culture like in the 1990s
- Is internal security affected by the government shutdown?
- Why do Indian seculars love Pakistan
- What is company visit etiquette
- Which unicorn companies are making profits
- Which US presidents were considered great humanists?
- What video game needs one more installment
- How do I update my billing address
- How are theorems proved without axioms
- How do we convert benzene into methane
- Which is better IAS or IFoS forest
- How is information blocked in the head
- What if Khomeini likes the US
- Is it worth hiring PMs from Google