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New China Rules Complicate TikTok’s U.S Division Sales

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ByteDance faces new hurdle in TikTok's sale

“Hey, Trump! You can’t have that victory dance just yet, and you can put those champagne bottles back on the shelf.”

We are guessing Trump got a message that read just like that from the Chinese Government over the weekend.

Just last week, it looked like the deal was about to be closed, and Trump was finally going to get his wish.

But right now, it seems like the brawl’s not over yet.

The interception

Beijing has swooped in the last minute to implement a law that places restrictions on certain tech exports.

U.S vs China power tussle over TikTok

The new rule affects supposedly sensitive tech commodities.

Part of these technologies includes voice recognition, content suggestion, and text analysis technology.

By no mysterious means, TikTok happens to fall under one of the listed categories.

ByteDance can’t complete its TikTok sale without a Chinese government license with this rule in place.

In other words, the Chinese Government determines whether or not Trump gets his wish.

It looks like the Chinese Government stole a leaf from an action movie cliché – “If you want to get to her, then you’ve got to go through me.” Hello! Gatekeeper.

via GIPHY

China last updated its tech export control list in 2008

Although the Ministry of Commerce has sighted rapid technological advancement as its reasons for reviewing the control list now, the timing makes their claim almost unbelievable.

It looks like someone is looking to see if Trump can match his words with action.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, approval/denial for tech export applications is completed within 30 business days.

We’re not quite sure if ByteDance will be able to hold off the external pressure while waiting for approval.

Last week, the company’s CEO resigned due to overwhelming stress.

If the Chinese Government cripples the ongoing deal and Trump’s administration bans the App in the U.S., what will come afterward?

It’s not entirely clear what the Chinese Government intends to achieve with this new rule.

Are they going to block the sale completely?

Or do they want to broker a favourable deal with Trump’s administration?

It’s been 17 days since Trump gave ByteDance a 90-day window to sell TikTok. 

With 73 days left, there’s still enough time for things to take several turns in this power tussle.

So, we’ll continue to watch as events unfold.

A Chinese government official has advised ByteDance to hold off on sales.

The official told Chinese News Agency – Xinhua that ByteDance should critically study the restrictions before taking further actions.

The alliance

In the meantime, Microsoft has teamed up with Walmart to contest for TikTok’s U.S. division.

Walmart teams up with Microsoft in TikTok's U.S business deal

On the other side of the contest, Oracle has joined forces with other investors.

Oracle joins forces with new partners in TIkTok bids

These two seem to be the significant contestants vying for the U.S. division of TikTok.

As of Friday, the two groups had reportedly submitted bids for the social media app.

However, Twitter and Netflix seem to have pulled back for some time.

We’ve witnessed several dramatic turns since this brawl began.

Do you think you know what’d happen next? Drop your predictions in the comments section below.

Iyanuoluwa Agoi is a writer at Techuncode. A non-conventional writer and an out-of-the-box thinker who loves humour, Iyanu believes humour has the power to create high recall and engagement for all forms of communications. He'd never pass on any chance to throw in a little sarcasm on any piece of writing. Except, of course, this one. He was told that it is meant to be official. But, as you can see, he's already failing at making it so. Iyanu is an avid lover of good music; the James Arthur or JP Saxe kind. He listens to them in his spare time and also loves to watch stand up comedy.

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