Three people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday that Beijing opposed the Chinese owner ByteDance’s forcible sale of TikTok’s business in the United States and hoped to see the short video app shut down in the United States.
Since U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to ban the service last month, ByteDance has been selling its U.S. business with TikTok to potential buyers including Microsoft MSFT.O and Oracle ORCL.N. negotiation.
Trump has set the deadline for ByteDance to mid-September to finalize the deal.
Sources said that in the face of pressure from Washington, Chinese officials believe that forced sales will make ByteDance and China appear weak. In view of the sensitivity of the situation, I will remain anonymous.
ByteDance said in a statement to Reuters that the Chinese government has never advised it to close TikTok in the United States or any other market.
Two sources stated that China is willing to use the amendments made to the August 28 technology export list to postpone any transactions concluded by ByteDance, if any.
The State Council Information Office and its Ministry of Foreign Trade and Commerce did not immediately respond to requests for comment after working hours.
When asked about Trump and Tiktok on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference that the United States is abusing the concept of national security and urged the United States to stop suppressing foreign companies.