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China Affirms Right to Approve Tech Deals as TikTok Sale Looms

Sept. 3, 2020, 8:23 AM

China emphasized its right Thursday to approve or block the sale of technology abroad, confirming it will play a critical role in the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to suitors including Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Beijing’s assertion jeopardizes negotiations over the sale of ByteDance Ltd.’s prized international asset, a complex deal already under scrutiny by Donald Trump’s administration. The Chinese government on Friday added several artificial intelligence features to a list of export-restricted technologies, effectively gaining the right to block a deal by targeting features such as the recommendation algorithms essential to the viral video service.

The ...