Chinese Tiktok in Talks with Donald Trump Administration to Avoid Full Sale of US Assets

Chinese Tiktok in Talks with Donald Trump Administration to Avoid Full Sale of US Assets

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is in discussions with the Trump administration about possible alternatives that would allow the popular Chinese video-sharing app to avoid selling its entire US operation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The talks with the administration have picked up since last week, when the Chinese government passed new rules restricting the export of artificial-intelligence technology, which could affect the sale of TikTok to a non-Chinese owner, The Journal reported, citing anonymous sources. Options include a sale that involves restructuring TikTok, one person was reported as saying.

TikTok has been negotiating with the US government for weeks after US President Donald Trump set a deadline for its sale, contending that the app posed a national security risk. Trump said a week ago that if a deal was not reached by September 15, his administration would shut TikTok out of the US.

A TikTok representative did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Microsoft, joined by Walmart, emerged as the dominant bidder for TikTok’s assets in the US as well as those in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, a deal valued in the range of USD 20 billion to USS 30 billion. Oracle has also reportedly joined the fray.

Analysts say that TikTok’s most prized asset is the algorithm it uses to track user behaviour.

But the algorithm uses AI technology that likely comes under the new Chinese export control rules, which would complicate or even kill the sale since Beijing would need to approve it. As a result, deal talks are said to have stalled.

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