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ByteDance Says It Won’t Sell TikTok To US Firms, Would Rather Pull Out


ByteDance has no plan to sell TikTok, the company’s official account said. In a statement posted on Toutiao, a media platform owned by the China-based firm, the company, affirmed. “ByteDance doesn’t have any plans to sell TikTok.”

ByteDance’s statement comes in the wake of media reports suggesting that the company was considering options to sell TikTok without its underlying algorithm, which is integral to its functionality. According to a Reuters report, sources close to ByteDance said that the algorithms powering TikTok are crucial to ByteDance’s operations. This makes the sale of the app with its algorithms highly unlikely the sources mentioned. Despite TikTok contributing only a small portion to ByteDance’s revenues and user base, the parent company is hesitant to sell it to an American buyer and may pull out of the US. Additionally, Chinese regulations regarding technology exports could complicate any attempts to divest TikTok’s assets.

ByteDance’s statement comes after President Biden signed into law a bill that bans TikTok in the country should its owner, ByteDance, fail to divest the short video app over the next nine months. The US Congress voted to pass the measure along with other legislative packages that included providing aid to Ukraine and Israel after a months-long push in the US Congress. Many lawmakers say TikTok poses national security risks because China could compel the company to share the data of its 170 million U.S. users, while TikTok insists it has never shared US data and never would.

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Supporting the bill, US Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell said, “I’m very happy that Speaker Johnson and House leaders incorporated my recommendation to extend the Byte Dance divestment period from six months to a year,” she said in a statement. “Extending the divestment period is necessary to ensure there is enough time for a new buyer to get a deal done. I support this updated legislation.”

(Edited by Ashwin Ahmad)