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China Throws a Wrench Into Trump’s Plan to Force TikTok Sale (2)

Aug. 31, 2020, 1:15 PM

Zhang Yiming’s plan to sell the U.S. operations of his short-video app TikTok to avoid a shutdown was thrown into jeopardy after China asserted authority over a deal already under scrutiny by the Trump administration.

Beijing on Friday added uncertainty to already thorny negotiations over the sale of ByteDance Ltd.’s prized asset, claiming the ability to block a sale to foreign suitors Microsoft Corp. or Oracle Corp. with tighter restrictions on artificial intelligence exports. The commerce ministry added speech and text recognition and personalized recommendations to a list of products that require approval before they’re sold abroad.

These ...