China willing to let TikTok die before allowing Trump force a U.S. acquisition



Will TikTok soon cease to exist in the U.S.? 

If ByteDance, the China-based owner of the popular viral video app, doesn’t find an American buyer soon, TikTok faces a possible ban in the states. However, there’s now possibly another problem for the viral video app: the Chinese government.

According to a report from , Chinese officials may be willing to just let TikTok shut down rather than have President Donald Trump force its sale in the U.S. That’s not just an opinion either. The Chinese government actually has the power to severely kneecap any acquisition.

Sources familiar with the situation tell Reuters that the Chinese government is open to blocking the sale of TikTok’s secret sauce: its algorithm. 

After Trump signed an threatening to ban TikTok in the U.S. if it didn’t cut ties with ByteDance, China moved to revise a list of technologies which would need governmental approval before being exported out of the country. TikTok’s algorithm would qualify as one of those technologies.

And why would China do that? Sources say that Chinese officials are concerned over the optics of letting Trump force a Chinese company into selling the app to a U.S. company. These officials believe that it makes both ByteDance and China look “weak.”

It’s unclear what would happen if TikTok doesn’t sell to a U.S.-based company.

The Trump administration says it seeks to ban the app due to cybersecurity issues over ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese government. Legal experts have the ability for the administration to do so. TikTok has against the Trump administration over the ban. The company claims that Trump seeks to ban the app for political reasons, and not due to security issues.

Companies like and have shown interest in acquiring TikTok, however a sale has not yet been confirmed. Trump’s executive order gives TikTok until November to find a buyer. 

But if the TikTok algorithm isn’t included in the sale, that could make closing the deal a bit more difficult.





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