Business & Economy

China’s updated export rules could jeopardize TikTok sale

Beijing, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- China has updated its restrictions on technology exports for the first time since 2008 and the move could hinder TikTok’s proposed sale to an American company.

The ministry for commerce and the ministry of science and technology approved the tweaks to the export list on Friday to include forms of artificial intelligence, voice recognition, data analysis and content recommendation technology.

Companies looking to export such technology will now need to seek approval from the ministry of commerce, a process that can take up to 30 days, and then the Chinese government, which could take an additional 15 days.

Earlier this month, United States president Donald Trump gave TikTok’s parent company ByteDance 90 days to sell its social media platform to an American company or face a ban in the US amid a spat over user data collection.

Cui Fan, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing told state news outlet Xinhua that for TikTok to continue to operate, ByteDance would need to export its software codes to a new operator or owner outside China.

“Technical services provision from inside China to outside China may also be needed,” Cui added.

“Therefore, it is suggested that ByteDance carefully study the revised catalogue, seriously and carefully consider whether it is necessary to suspend substantive negotiations on relevant transactions, comply with statutory application and reporting procedures, and then take further actions as appropriate.”

In recent weeks, US media has speculated on a possible sale of TikTok to American companies Microsoft and Walmart while others such as Twitter and Oracle are rumored to be interested in a takeover.

The spat over TikTok is the latest episode in a series of diplomatic spats between the US and China. Trump signed an executive order on 14 August requiring ByteDance to sell off TikTok to avoid being listed as a threat to US national security within a space of 90 days.

In a statement last week TikTok said it would sue the Trump Administration over the executive order. EFE-EPA

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