Selling TikTok to a US company can be complicated. Microsoft is the main candidate for “Western TikTok” as we saw at the time. However, a new law in China could make the sale more difficult or even not viable if the authorities in the eastern country decide.
As explained in WSJ, China has approved new rules for exporting Chinese technology overseas . These regulations focus on controlling what may or may not be exported overseas, particularly technologies that the government may consider sensitive. It may be, for example, artificial intelligence technologies, text or voice recognition, content suggestions… In short, intellectual property which, according to them, could endanger China.
The response in the United States
This is where the game comes in selling TikTok . Its parent company ByteDance agreed to sell part of TikTok to a company in the United States to meet US requirements so that the service could continue to operate. The United States has accepted the proposal (with a commission between the two) and several companies are already fighting to take over TikTok, with Microsoft as the most discussed and others like Oracle, Walmart or Twitter. But that may not be enough to reach an agreement.
With these new rules of Chinese law, the Asian country could have the final say in selling TikTok to a company outside of China. If they consider TikTok (especially its recommendation algorithms) to be intellectual property, ByteDance would need a license to be able to sell TikTok to someone in the United States. A response to the interference of the American government in the matter.
At the moment it is not clear exactly how this can influence these new rules in the sale of TikTok. However, a government trade adviser told state-run Xinhua News Agency that ByteDance should “seriously and carefully” consider whether or not to stop its sales negotiations.
Meanwhile, in the other part of the world, the United States applied a veto on August 6 that blocked all transactions with ByteDance and demanded a contract of sale in 45 days. On August 14, this order was extended to 90 days. Kevin Mayer, who came to Disney four months ago to be CEO of TikTok, resigned last week. TikTok, meanwhile, has sued Donald Trump’s government.