Chinese officials on Friday revised rules that govern the sale of certain kinds of technology to foreign buyers. The updated list includes data processing, speech and text recognition, according to government notices.
The announcement marked the first time those rules have been revised since 2008. China’s Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Science and Technology said the changes were meant to “formalize the management of technology export” and “protect national security.”
The notices did not name TikTok or its Beijing-based owner ByteDance, but experts have pointed out that the rule change would require ByteDance to obtain government permission before it could sell TikTok to a foreign company.
China’s changes to its export control rules are a way for the country “to exert some leverage over the situation,” according to Anupam Chander, a law professor at Georgetown University.
“It will cause any bidder to pause and wonder how to proceed,” he added.
— Steven Jiang and Selina Wang contributed to this report.
Read More: TikTok’s potential sale of its US business could be complicated by new Chinese