As the trade war between China and the United States slowly grows into a full blown cold war, Beijing seems to be considering extreme measures to tackle what it calls US aggression against its tech industry.
Relations between China and the United State has tanked since Donald Trump became US President and recently the Americans have gone after China tech companies in the US, starting with Tik Tok citing security concerns.
After US authorities issued an ultimatum to Chinese owned Tik Tok to either sell to a US Company or leave the country by mid-September, its parent company ByteDance has been in negotiations with top companies like Facebook and Microsoft as potential buyers.
Beijing however is opposed to a forced sale of Tik Tok and would rather see it shut down than fall into US hands, according to sources within the Chinese government.
According to the inside sources, a forced sale of Tik Tok would make Beijing and ByteDance appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington. They said further that the Chinese were willing to use revisions on its technology exports list to delay a sale of the company of ByteDance reached a deal to sell before the mid-September deadline.
This sentiment has however not been made official as ByteDance said the Chinese government has never suggested it shut down its operations in any part of the world. Instead its foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said that the US was oppressing foreign companies under the guise of national security.
The US accused Tik Tok and ByteDance of sharing user data with China. The company denies the charge saying it would never turn over user’s data to the Chinese, but China’s national security law mandates tech companies to hand over such data regularly.
This led to a deadline issued by US President Donald Trump banning the popular app from mid-September if it refuses to sell its operations in the US to a US company.