TikTok Deal Faces Complications as U.S. and China Ratchet Up Tit-for-Tat

Already, the Trump administration has placed sanctions on dozens of Chinese companies in recent weeks over alleged security threats and human rights violations, and it has threatened to take more measures to block Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Baidu from doing business in the United States. Under Mr. Trump, the sale of Grindr, the gay dating app, to Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., a Chinese company, was unwound.

Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser known for his harsh criticism of China, said in an interview on Monday that it was “critical” that Americans not use apps that are made in China because Beijing could use them to surveil, track and potentially even extort Americans.

“That’s really the policy position underlying why we have gone after TikTok and WeChat and there will be others because China, communist China, the Chinese Communist Party, is basically going out around the world trying to acquire technology and influence,” he said. Of Mr. Trump, he added, “This country and this president, the strongest president on China in history, is not going to put up with that.”

Mr. Navarro said he was not part of the negotiations over TikTok’s sale, a deal that was being reviewed by the Treasury Department. The White House referred a request for comment to the Treasury Department, which did not respond.

According to an analysis by the U.S.-China Business Council, China’s new export controls affect two technologies that are critical for TikTok — the data analytics used to create personalized information feeds, and technology that governs user interactions with artificial intelligence, including voice recognition and other voice technologies.

To transfer these technologies to partners out of China, exporters now need to obtain several approvals from their provincial commerce department, a process that can take up to 45 working days. ByteDance has said that it will comply with the new regulations.

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