TikTok Parent Puts Ball In China's Court — Says Will Abide By Tech Export Rules

ByteDance has applied for an export license from China's regulator, as it moves ahead with a deal involving Oracle Corporation ORCL and Walmart Inc WMT taking 12.5% and 7.5% stake respectively in subsidiary TikTok Global's U.S. operations, reports CNBC.

What Happened: ByteDance has applied to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce for a license to export technology. This comes after China put export restrictions on certain technologies last month — in an apparent move to retain control of TikTok and related technologies.

The statement, in Chinese, submitted on Thursday didn't mention the pending TikTok deal or the exact technology it was looking to export, as per CNBC. The company said it would abide by the export rules, thus giving Beijing a final say in the deal.

On the U.S. side, President Donald Trump gave his "blessing" to the deal on Saturday, but doubts persist over the exact terms all parties have agreed to — with ByteDance shooting down most of the president's claims surrounding its agreement with Oracle and Walmart.

China's state-backed Global Times earlier this week accused the U.S. of being unfair and using "gangster-logic" to force a deal. An op-ed said Beijing has "no reason to give the green light to such a deal."

What Happens Next: Final approval of TikTok's merger for its U.S. operations is not in sight as a fallout could come from with side and the number of parties involved.

The deal goes far beyond the control of user data as both China and U.S. lock horns with each other to prove their might to be leaders in technology.

As the deal waits for approval from both U.S. and China, TikTok is keeping its legal option open. ByteDance has filed for a preliminary injunction against the ban on its U.S. operations requesting the judge's decision by Sunday night to avoid blocking app downloads, the New York Times reports.

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