ByteDance asks China for licence to export tech as deadline nears

ByteDance has applied to the Chinese government for permission to export its technology as the company races to finalise a deal and prevent its viral video app TikTok from being blocked in the US.

The social media group said on Thursday it had applied to Beijing’s municipal commerce bureau for the licence after authorities in August revised export controls to include the algorithms that power TikTok.

The change gave Beijing more sway over any deal affecting TikTok’s US operations, making the granting of an export licence potentially crucial to any final agreement.

ByteDance is negotiating with US groups Oracle and Walmart over a deal to satisfy demands by US President Donald Trump that the Chinese company cede control of TikTok’s US operations for national security reasons.

The parties are seeking to complete a deal prior to a proposed Trump administration ban that would block downloads of TikTok in the US, which is due to take effect this Sunday.

But ByteDance and its US suitors have publicly disagreed on the final terms of a deal. Disagreement has centred on who would own TikTok Global, the new US-based company that would be created under the transaction, as well as who would control TikTok’s algorithm.


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