ByteDance has formally asked Chinese officials to sign off on its deal with Oracle and Walmart to keep TikTok running in the US.
The Chinese tech giant on Thursday said it applied for a technology export license from Beijing’s municipal commerce bureau that it will need to close the deal aimed at preventing the Trump administration from banning its popular short-video app.
The application came after China revised its tech export rules last month in a way that gave Beijing more sway over any proposal to sell part or all of TikTok to an American company.
Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry, said ByteDance’s application had been received and would be handled according to relevant procedures and regulations. Approval for tech exports can take up to 30 days.
ByteDance submitted the application as Chinese state media panned its proposed partnership with Oracle and Walmart as a giveaway to President Trump and the US, raising questions about whether it would be approved.
The state-run Xinhua news agency published an op-ed Thursday calling the deal “a textbook example of the United States’ modern-day piracy and tech bullying.”
ByteDance raced to make a deal with Oracle and Walmart after Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the US over concerns that its user data could be shared with the Chinese government, allegations that TikTok has denied.
TikTok asked a federal judge Wednesday to block a US Commerce Department order that could force Apple and Google to remove the app from its app stores.
Trump gave his “blessing” to the TikTok deal — which would create a new US-based company called TikTok Global to run the app in the states — over the weekend, but he qualified his support Monday, saying it would not be approved if ByteDance maintained control of the app.
Americans would own a majority of TikTok Global under the terms of the deal, including 20 percent held by Oracle and Walmart and some 33 percent owned by ByteDance’s existing US investors, The Post has reported. The rest of the equity would be held by ByteDance investors in China and other countries.
ByteDance has said the deal does not involve any transfer of TikTok’s technologies — including its signature algorithm — but California-based software giant Oracle will be able to review the app’s source code.
With Post Wires
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