ByteDance is increasingly likely to miss a Trump administration deadline for the sale of its TikTok US operations after new Chinese regulations complicated negotiations with bidders Microsoft and Oracle, according to people familiar with the matter.
ByteDance probably needs beyond the US executive order ban on 20 September to nail down an agreement with either party because of the regulatory review, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
In preliminary talks with Chinese officials, ByteDance has been told any proposal must be submitted for approval with detailed information about technical and financial issues, and the review will be substantial and take time, one of the people said. The officials haven’t been willing to give specific guidance on what kind of deal would work, the person said.
Microsoft and Oracle, which had submitted proposals before the Chinese regulations hit, both continue to be interested in buying the US arm of the hit video app and have not been dissuaded by Beijing’s involvement, the people said.
The bidders have asked ByteDance to get as much clarity as possible from Beijing on the new regulations, which prohibit the export of certain artificial intelligence technologies that TikTok uses, they said.