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Microsoft’s Talks to Buy TikTok’s U.S. Operations Raise Ire in China

Earlier this week, Washington released an ultimatum to the company behind the popular social media platform TikTok, asking the Chinese company to sell the app’s US operations or risk being banned from the country. This has raised suspicions over the US’s aims to sabotage China’s technological advancements. China is also concerned over the precedents that the sale would set for Chinese companies with global ambitions.

The parent company to TikTok, Bytedance Ltd., has been fighting to appease the Trump administration in order to remain in operation within the US. Turning over its US operations to Microsoft, as the company has offered, would likely be a warning sign for other Chinese internet companies that have harbored global aspirations. Beijing sees the move as Washington’s attempt to hinder one of its most valuable global tech companies and bully the giant into selling a lucrative overseas unit. This furthers the Chinese view that any Chinese tech company with international success is labeled as a national security threat to the US.

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