TikTok applies for Chinese license to export technology

Sept. 24 (UPI) — TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, requested permission from Beijing to export its technology, as the company’s executives work furiously to push through a deal with Oracle and Walmart before a November deadline.

The Chinese social media platform is making the move as SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son is expected to join the TikTok Global board, according to Fox Business.

Time is running out for TikTok if it wants to avert a shutdown in the United States. ByteDance’s application for an export license was submitted Thursday, the company said, according to CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

ByteDance is complying with new Chinese regulations that restrict the export of technologies for “recommendation of personalized information services based on data analysis,” according to reports.

The regulations went into effect in August, as tensions grew with the United States over the status of Chinese tech firms. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the sale of TikTok, citing national security risks posed by Chinese companies.

Trump more recently gave “his blessing” on the deal that would give U.S. firms Oracle and Walmart control over TikTok Global. The agreement managed to bypass a U.S. app ban on Sunday.

The Oracle deal has caused some confusion over ownership and operations, however. On Monday, ByteDance said it would retain an 80% stake in TikTok Global. Oracle said U.S. citizens would still hold a majority, likely due to Americans occupying four out of five board seats, according to CNBC.

China’s commerce ministry said Thursday the ByteDance application has been received and that Beijing would review it in line with regulations.

The non-U.S. citizen on the TikTok Global board is likely to be SoftBank Group’s Masayoshi Son, according to Fox Business on Wednesday. ByteDance has said founder Zhang Yiming will remain on the board, however, leaving some questions unanswered about board control and influence.

Other board members include Walmart’s chief executive Doug McMillon, investors General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, according to the South China Morning Post.

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