Thursday, October 22, 2020

TikTok parent ByteDance applies for China tech export licence

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Beijing: Even as TikTok’s proposed deal with Walmart and Oracle remains in doubt, the parent company of the short video-sharing platform, ByteDance, has applied for a technology export licence to comply with China’s tech export rules which were recently updated.

China’s Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said that the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau has received an application for technology export from ByteDance, Xinhua reported.

Amid pressure from the US on ByteDance to divest TikTok’s US operations, China updated the list of technologies subject to an export ban which was largely seen as Beijing’s move to have a say on a possible TikTok deal in the US.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said that it will handle ByteDance’s application for technology export in line with the relevant laws and regulations.

It is unclear if a decision on the application could come before the November 12 deadline set by US President Donald Trump’s administration, after which TikTok may face further restrictions in the US if a deal is not approved.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post on Thursday, ByteDance had earlier this week said that its current proposal to satisfy the White House’s security concerns “does not involve the transfer of any algorithms and technologies”.

ByteDance had earlier expressed the hope that its proposed arrangements with Oracle and Walmart will “resolve the security concerns of the U.S. administration and settle questions around TikTok’s future in the US.”

However, just a couple of days after saying that he approved TikTok’s deal with Walmart and Oracle “in concept,” Trump in an interview with Fox News this week said that if Oracle and Walmart “find they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal.”

His comments came after ByteDance insisted that it would retain a controlling stake in the new US-based company in partnership with Oracle and Walmart, called TikTok Global.

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