Tensions over U.S. operations of the social media giant seem bound for a boiling point.
As President Trump’s deadline approaches for TikTok to either be shut down nationwide or sold out of Chinese ownership, acrimony between the two nations has ratcheted up.
Although Trump issued two Executive Orders posing this same ultimatum in August, they came with deadlines for action as far out as November 12th.
Contrastingly, the President has gone public with the apparently arbitrary deadline of Tuesday, September 15th. Despite this arguable game of chicken afoot between the two economic powerhouses, China seems to have no intention of relenting.
While its government is accused of having benefited from non-consensual data mining of TikTok users worldwide, Reuters has cited “three people with direct knowledge of the matter,” as saying that “Chinese officials believe a forced sale would make both ByteDance and China appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington.”
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Chinese opposition to the sale of TikTok is further evidenced by its recent passage of legislation banning the international exportation of Artificial Intelligence technology, such as the content recommendation algorithm that has chiefly distinguished TikTok from other social media platforms.
As a joint bid emerges from Walmart and Microsoft to buy TikTok off of its parent company, ByteDance, it remains unclear if Microsoft will attempt to develop its own substitute recommendation algorithm in the event the bid proves successful.
Despite TikTok’s lawsuit against its threatened closure, as well as potential legal grounds for postponing a shutdown, President Trump has been definitive in asserting that he will not extend the deadline of September 15th for TikTok to either be sold or shut down its U.S. operations.