Amid TikTok sale, another Chinese tech firm sells US operations

As the Donald Trump administration has asked ByteDance to sell operations of its most popular short video platform TikTok in the US, a Chinese hotel management solutions provider has become another victim to sell its business in the country.

Shiji Group, a China-based global hospitality technology provider which has Kempinski hotel as one of its clients, said on Tuesday that its board has approved the decision to sell its 100 per cent controlled US subsidiary StayNTouch to MRC, a US hotel operating company, after a White House administrative order, reports The Global Times.

“Shiji will apparently become another Chinese victim to be forced to sell its US business after ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, amid a trend of US government’s crackdown on Chinese technology companies on the ground of ‘threatening national security,'” Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent Internet analyst, told the Global Times.

According to the Shiji’s official website, the company had acquired StayNTouch, a US-based company that provides cloud-based hotel management solutions.

Trump signed an administrative order recently, requiring Shiji to divest all interests related to StayNTouch, claiming that the “company poses a potential threat to US national security”.

“Since March, when the US administration ordered that Shiji divest our interests in StayNTouch, our concern was to find the right custodian for the company and its customers,” Shiji Group COO Kevin King said on the company’s website.

The company reached a deal to sell 100 percent of StayNTouch for $45.5 million to MRC, the fifth-largest hotel owner-operator in the US.

“The US crackdown on Chinese tech companies has become a trend since the US government started to corner Huawei, with its aim to suppress the development of China’s high-tech sector,” Dingding was quoted as saying.

Some speculations surrounding the sale of TikTok’s US operations may soon come to an end as the short video-sharing platform owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance has reportedly reached a deal.

A successful bidder for TikTok’s US, Australia and New Zealand services could be announced at the earliest, CNBC reported on Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

While Walmart entered into the fray in partnership with Microsoft, Oracle is another top contender for the deal.

An earlier report tentatively pegged the price of the deal in the $20-$30 billion range.

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