US deadline on TikTok sale coercive robbery: China

US deadline on TikTok sale coercive robbery China

BEIJING: As the deadline for ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to sell its US business inches closer, the Chinese government on Saturday said the Donald Trump administration’s deadline is tantamount to “coercive robbery”.

The US President has categorically said that he will not extend the September 20 deadline for China-based ByteDance to sell the US business of TikTok or face the complete ban.

“The tricks of economic bullying and political manipulation that the US played on non-American companies are tantamount to coercive robbery,” said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Xinhua news agency reported.

The business sales talk of TikTok in the US has hit roadblock after China’s update of the technology export rules. The update covers Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies used by ByteDance.

China last month updated the list of technologies that are subject to export bans. 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.

The new update in the export rules cover restrictions on technologies such as text analysis, content recommendation and voice-recognition. The technologies on the list cannot be exported without approval from authorities in China.

ByteDance had said that “the company will strictly abide” by the new export rules imposed by China.

Several US companies including Walmart/Microsoft and Oracle are in the fray to buy TikTok’s US operations, which is touted in the range of $20 billion-$30 billion.