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TikTok’s Chinese parent company denies reports it plans to sell its U.S. business – UPI.com

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ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, insisted Friday that it had no intention of selling the video-sharing app, despite the prospect of a U.S. ban looming over it. File photo by Luong Thai Linh/EPA-EFE

April 26 (UPI) — ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, insisted Friday that it had no intention of selling the video-sharing app despite the prospect of a U.S. ban hanging over it.

“ByteDance doesn’t have any plans to sell TikTok,” the firm said in response to a report on a U.S. tech news website that it was “exploring scenarios for selling a majority stake” in its American business, minus the algorithm that recommends videos to users of the app.

“Foreign media reports of ByteDance selling TikTok are not true,” the company said.

The statement posted on a Chinese social media platform ByteDance owns is the first time TikTok’s parent company has publicly commented since Congress passed, and President Joe Biden signed into law, legislation this week giving ByteDance nine months to divest itself of its stake in TikTok or see the app banned.

TikTok itself has been vocal in its opposition to the threat to its largest market and vowing to fight the forced sale, attempting to present it as a first amendment and economic freedom issue.

“This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,” it said Wednesday in a statement on X.

“This ban would devastate 7 million businesses and silence 170 million Americans.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said the company was confident it would prevail, pledging in a video earlier this week to keep “fighting for your rights in the courts”

“The facts, and the Constitution, are on our side… rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere.”

The Chinese government has previously said it opposed a forced sale of TikTok on grounds would involve the transfer of “sensitive” technology it deems vital to its national interests, warning that any deal could not proceed with is approval.

It has since moved to implement a veto mechanism.

National security concerns about TikTok’s links to the Chinese Communist Party have been on the rise for years with Washington edging ever closer to a ban from as far back as summer 2020 when former president Donald Trump first said his administration was looking at outlawing the app.

The worry is over who controls TikTok’s algorithms and the users’ data gathered by the app and whether it could be transferred to the Chinese government.

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