China wants TikTok shut down in US, because a forced sale would make Xi look weak vs. Trump: Report

Beijing is strongly against a Trump-forced sale of TikTok's U.S. operations by Chinese owner ByteDance, and the government of China would rather that TikTok shut down all operations in United States, Reuters reports on Friday.

China has previously characterized the forced sale to a U.S. based buyer as "theft."

ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok's American business to potential buyers including Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Twitter, and others, since Trump threatened in August to ban TikTok if it was not sold to a US-based buyer.

From reporting by Keith Zhai, Yingzhi Yang, and Julie Zhu, published today at Reuters:

Trump has given ByteDance a deadline of mid September to finalise a deal.

However, Chinese officials believe a forced sale would make both ByteDance and China appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

ByteDance said in a statement to Reuters that the Chinese government had never suggested to it that it should shut down TikTok in the United States or in any other markets.

Two of the sources said China was willing to use revisions it made to a technology exports list on Aug. 28 to delay any deal reached by ByteDance, if it had to.

Read more at Reuters: China would rather see TikTok U.S. close than a forced sale