ByteDance DECLARES, It Will ‘Strictly Follow’ Export Rules!


ByteDance Declares

The U.S. TikTok deal could be dashed as ByteDance declares unexpectedly it will definitely stick with Beijing’s export controls rule. This comes when all seems to be ready considering pressures from Washington, however, potential U.S. tech companies vying for a final sale of the subject short video app are reportedly faced with the unexpected challenge due to late move from the Chinese authority.

TikTok had at last week file a lawsuit which is shared on the company’s blog citing Washington’s decision was enacted without evidence and without any due process, based on that, it intends to fight back against Trump’s executive order. Stating that:

“We strongly disagree with the Administration’s position that TikTok is a national security threat and we have articulated these objections previously”.  

It’s understood, Beijing in her effort repeatedly spoke out against Washington’s pressure on Huawei but has somehow remained quiet over TikTok’s current challenges in the United States. Last Friday, China’s Ministry of Commerce updated its export control categories that will enable it to cover artificial intelligence technologies. The latest addition is the anchor of ByteDance products, precisely TikTok which has thrived on customized content surfaced with the aid of machines. Reports eventually emerged a day after the recent update, which saw China’s Xinhua news agency quoting scholar ‘Cui Fan’ as saying the latest rules could potentially apply to ByteDance. And had gone ahead to advise tech companies with ongoing deals to “halt negotiations and transactions so as to conduct the relevant procedures”.

Based on this, one could see the reason why the ByteDance declaration to adhere strictly to the latest update should be viewed as a concern. Considering the timing, ByteDance still has weeks before divesting from its largest overseas market, while as the company advances to sell TikTok, it’s bound to face hurdles due to restrictions enforced by the regulation. According to professor ‘Cui Fan’ who made it clear that the current update restricts the export of personalized recommendation and Artificial Intelligence-powered interfaced technologies.

Two days after the update (precisely late Sunday) ByteDance issued a statement that it will “strictly follow” the new technology export rules and take responsibility for its “related export businesses”.

Image Credit: Zhang Yiming ByteDance CEO

There are concerns over TikTok sales as issues become complicated on the technical level. Prior to the update, ByteDance’s engineers and developers at its headquarters located in Beijing are responsible for all the software code deployed in all its family of apps, TikTok inclusive, which in the Chinese tech sector is known as “central platform”, equally one that also undergirds a good number of Alibaba and Tencent businesses for its purported advantage of increased productivity and minimizing redundant resources. Meaning, breaking TikTok off from its parent app will most likely disrupt the app’s operations in the short run.

In another dimension, a good number of Chinese internet users demand ByteDance chief ‘Zhang Yiming’ should not give in to U.S. pressure, but respond to Washington’s decision in the same way as Huawei boss ‘Ren Zhengfei’ who responded aggressively to U.S. sanctions.

What is your take on TikTok parent ByteDance declaration?