TikTok owner to comply with Beijing’s new export regulations

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BEIJING | Chinese group Bytedance, owner of popular video app TikTok, said in a statement on Sunday that it would “strictly adhere” to China’s new export rules, which could complicate the sale of the company’s U.S. operations, to which Donald Trump pushes.

• Read also: Walmart joins forces with Microsoft in negotiations to buy TikTok

• Read also: TikTok boss Kevin Mayer leaves the company

Walmart had confirmed Thursday that it had allied with Microsoft in negotiations to buy ByteDance the video-sharing app.

Asked by AFP, Walmart had not reacted.

TikTok owner to comply with Beijing's new export regulations

“The company has nothing to communicate on the subject,” a Microsoft spokesperson told AFP.

TikTok has been at the center of a diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing for several weeks, and the US president on August 6 signed an executive order in the name of “national security” to force ByteDance to quickly sell off the US operations of TikTok, which ‘He accuses Beijing of espionage.

But the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Friday extended to “technologies for civilian use” the rules issued by Beijing concerning the import and export of technologies.

This is the first time since 2008 that China has changed the list of technologies subject to export restrictions or bans.

According to a professor quoted by the official New China news agency, the change could mean that Bytedance will have to get approval from the Chinese government to sell its video-sharing app to an American company.

Earlier this week, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer left the company, days after TikTok filed a lawsuit to challenge US government rulings.

TikTok explains in its complaint that Donald Trump’s decisions are motivated by political and financial considerations, and not by concerns for national security.

TikTok owner to comply with Beijing's new export regulations

TikTok says it has nearly 690 million monthly active users worldwide.

In August 2020, the app surpassed 2 billion downloads.

In the United States, the social network is used by 100 million users every month (800% more than in January 2018), including 50 million every day.

Donald Trump’s decree is an abuse of the federal law “International Emergency Economic Powers Act”, because the platform does not represent “an unusual and extraordinary threat”, argued the social network.

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