The Chinese government would rather see the video app TikTok disappear in the United States than forcibly sell the platform’s American activities.
The Trump administration is demanding that ByteDance sell TikTok’s US operations. After all, the US fears that all personal data collected by the app will end up with the Chinese government.
If the sale is not completed by next Tuesday, the US will ban the platform. ByteDance is discussing a deal. Potential buyers are technology companies Microsoft and Oracle.
Chinese officials think a forced sale would make both ByteDance and the Chinese government appear weak against pressure from Washington, the insiders told Reuters.
They want to remain anonymous because of the sensitive situation. China is also reportedly considering tweaking rules on technology exports to delay any deals around TikTok for as long as needed.
China itself is strongly opposed to the forced sale of TikTok in the US. Last month, the country’s government reportedly amended a list of technologies that cannot be sold abroad without government approval, so that TikTok can only be sold after a green light from Beijing.
ByteDance told Reuters that the Chinese government has never indicated that TikTok should stop in the US. Spokespersons for the Chinese government did not immediately respond to inquiries from the news agency.