China reportedly prefers a TikTok shutdown in the U.S. to a forced sale

This photo taken on November 21, 2019, shows the logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok displayed on a tablet screen in Paris.
(Image credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

The clock is ticking ahead of President Trump's TikTok deadline, but China reportedly would rather see the app be shut down in the United States than see a forced sale of its American operations.

That's according to Reuters, which on Friday reported that Beijing "opposes a forced sale of TikTok's U.S. operations" by its owner, ByteDance, and "would prefer to see the short video app shut down" in America.

Trump has said TikTok will be banned in the United States due to national security concerns unless its Chinese owner sells the app's U.S. operations to an American company. Microsoft and Oracle are reportedly in talks, but Bloomberg this week reported ByteDance will likely miss Trump's Sept. 20 deadline for a sale.

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As that deadline approaches, Reuters reports that China feels that a "forced sale would make both ByteDance and China appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington," and it's "willing to use revisions it made to a technology exports list on Aug. 28 to delay any deal reached by ByteDance."

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that the Trump administration was considering whether to extend the TikTok deadline. But Trump himself subsequently shot this possibility down, saying Thursday, "There'll be no extension of the TikTok deadline. It'll either be closed up or they'll sell it."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.