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ByteDance Says It ‘Doesn’t Have Any Plan to Sell TikTok’

ByteDance reportedly will not sell its U.S. TikTok business, even if it loses its legal battle in the United States.

The company said late Thursday (April 25) in a post on another app that it owns, Toutiao, that reports it was considering a sale “are untrue,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday (April 26).

This report comes two days after President Joe Biden signed a law banning TikTok unless it’s sold within a year. Biden signed the bill targeting the social media app Wednesday (April 24) after the bill was passed by the House and Senate days earlier, with supporters arguing the threat of a ban is necessary for national security reports.

In ByteDance’s Thursday statement on Toutiao, the company said: “Foreign media reports that ByteDance is exploring the sale of TikTok are untrue. ByteDance doesn’t have any plan to sell TikTok,” according to a report by CNN.

The company’s options are limited because the Chinese government has signaled that it would not allow a sale of TikTok, the WSJ report said. The government has banned the export of content-recommendation algorithms, like that used by TikTok, since 2020.

In addition, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has said in the past that any attempt to sell the U.S. business while retaining the rest of the business might “break” the app, according to the report.

In a video posted on TikTok Wednesday, after Biden signed the law, Chew said: “We aren’t going anywhere.”

“Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere,” Chew said in the video. “We are confident and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts. The facts and the Constitution are on our side, and we expect to prevail again.”

It was reported Thursday that ByteDance would rather shut down TikTok than sell it. That’s what the firm would do if it is unsuccessful in its legal efforts to fight the legislation that would ban it from app stores in the U.S. if it is not sold, Reuters reported.

That report added that ByteDance considers TikTok’s algorithms to be a core part of the company’s operations, so it is unlikely to sell the app and those algorithms.