China Reminds US That It Can and Will Kill a Forced TikTok Sale – Slashdot
China pushed back against the U.S. government’s proposal to force a sale of TikTok on Thursday, rejecting the possible solution to ongoing national security concerns around the app. From a report: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before Congress on Thursday morning, facing questions from U.S. lawmakers that centered around concerns that the Chinese government could leverage the app’s data to surveil American citizens or otherwise undermine national interests. In a press conference hours before the hearing began, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting weighed in with Beijing’s opposition to the Biden administration’s proposal. “…Forcing a sale of TikTok will seriously damage the confidence of investors from all over the world, including China, to invest in the United States,” she said. “If the news is true, China will firmly oppose it.”
The idea to force the company to divest itself of Chinese ownership first surfaced during the Trump administration, culminating in a deal for TikTok to sell its U.S. operations to Oracle in late 2020. At the time, TikTok also rejected an acquisition offer from Microsoft, though ultimately neither company succeeded and the strange arrangement fizzled after a series of successful legal challenges. The deal was shelved indefinitely when the Biden took office the following year, but in recent days the administration has picked up the languishing mission to force a sale. In rejecting the U.S. proposal, which the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) would spearhead, China is reiterated a point it made during the Trump administration. Further reading: TikTok CEO says China-based ByteDance employees still have access to some U.S. data.