China's new export rules may put spanner in TikTok's US deal

The new update in the export rules cover restrictions on technologies such as text analysis, content recommendation and voice-recognition.

Published: 30th August 2020 05:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2020 05:28 PM   |  A+A-

China-US flags, US-China ties

Image for representational purpose only. (File photo | AFP)


SAN FRANCISCO: A potential deal to sell TikTok's business in the US got complicated after China imposed new restrictions on technology exports.

China updated the list of technologies that are subject to export bans on Friday amid pressure on the app's parent company ByteDance by the White House to divest its business in the US quickly or face an effective ban.

The new list, released jointly by China's Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Science and Technology, added 23 items to export restrictions while technical parameters of 21 items were revised, Xinhua reported.

All technology transfers abroad, whether through trade, investment or other means, must strictly abide by relevant regulations on technology import and export of the country, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

The update could even affect a potential TikTok deal in the US as a government trade adviser in China suggested that ByteDance should study the updated catalogue and "seriously and cautiouslya consider whether or not it should stop its sales negotiations, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday citing Xinhua.

The new update in the export rules cover restrictions on technologies such as text analysis, content recommendation and voice-recognition, said the report.

Technologies on the list cannot be exported without approval from authorities in China.

Several US companies including Microsoft and Oracle are now in the fray to buy TikTok's US operations.

While retail giant Walmart joined Microsoft in the bid, social media company Triller also reportedly approached ByteDance directly with a $20 billion bid via London-based global investment firm Centricus.


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