China’a update of the technology export ban list last week appears to have already hit TikTok’s US operations sale talks as it has triggered questions about the fate of its core algorithms, suggests a report from The Wall Street Journal.
These core algorithms, often credited for the rapid growth of the platform, determine the videos users see even before they start following creators.
They were included in the deal negotiations until China updated the its list of technologies that are subject to export bans, said the WSJ report on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The new list, released jointly by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Science and Technology on Friday, added 23 items to export restrictions while technical parameters of 21 items were revised.
The update covers Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies used by ByteDance, the Chinese unicron that owns TikTok.
ByteDance said on Sunday that “the company will strictly abide” by the new export rules, CNBC reported.
TikTok is currently under pressure from the Donald Trump administration to sell its US operations quickly or face an effective ban.
While Walmart entered into the fray in partnership with Microsoft, Oracle is another top contender for the deal.