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China's new AI export rules may hinder TikTok sale

(Image credit: Photo credit: karen roach / Shutterstock)

The expected sale of TikTok US could be all but smooth sailing, due in part to a new Chinese law surrounding the sale of technology to foreign organizations.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, China has introduced new export control rules surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies the country deems sensitive, which could hinder any potential deal.

The new rule forbids companies from selling technology products that include text analysis, voice recognition and content suggestions, without first obtaining a license from the government.

Speaking to the New York Times, Scott Kennedy, a Senior Adviser at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, suggested this could be a way for the Chinese to try and increase TikTok's price, or simply prevent the deal from coming to fruition.

A Chinese government official is also alleged to have told the country's news agency that TikTok parent company ByteDance should “seriously and cautiously” consider pulling the handbrake on the sale.

If the deal does fall through, TikTok could end up banned in the States, as per an executive order issued by President Trump. However, TikTok is in the process of disputing the validity of the order.