The editorial boards of China Daily and Global Times – both State-run posts – This week they criticized an arrangement that would give US companies at least some ownership in the short-form video app. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing.
The terms of the interim deal for the most successful global application in China caused much confusion.
The initial announcement last weekend implied that ByteDance would continue It owns the majority of Tiktok from now on, which raises questions about how this might solve the Trump administration’s national security concerns about China’s control of the app and its data.
“It looks as though TikTok can stay in the United States. But only if ByteDance allows Oracle and Walmart to effectively take over the company,” China Daily added. China has no reason to give the green light to such a deal. “
The Global Times, a popular state-run newspaper, also criticized the deal this week in two editorials calling on Chinese regulators to block it.
“It is difficult for us to believe that Beijing will agree to such an agreement,” the Global Times wrote in one editorial. And in a second article titled “TikTok blackmail deal is an unpalatable maneuver,” the post added that “we must not let Washington control the lifeline of China’s technological development in the future.”
Chinese state media are a powerful tool in the country’s propaganda machine, and the various outlets and their editorials are often seen as barometers of sentiment among senior officials. Some publications, like the Global Times, are more militant than others.
Notably, editorials from the China Daily and Global Times were published in English – an indication that TikTok editorials are likely to be directed at an overseas audience. Editorials for state media in China may serve as experimental balloons for ideas, or for sending a message to Western governments. (China Daily is an English language newspaper, but the Global Times also has a more popular Chinese edition. Similar editorials were also published in that edition.)
The extent to which Beijing still needs to review the deal is also not entirely clear.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the negotiations told CNN Business this week that ByteDance is not concerned with regulatory approval from China. The source said that there were still some details left to sort out in the United States, indicating optimism that the deal is still in place despite the media and political storm.
– Celina Wang contributed to this report.