China doesn’t want to appear weak
Reuters reports that Beijing would rather TikTok is shut down in the US than be forced to sell. The company is fast approaching a Sept 15 deadline that the White House set for a sale. Yesterday Trump said he won’t extend it.
The report says a forced sale would make China appear weak in the face of US pressure and that it was willing to use revisions to its technology exports list to delay any deal.
The broader risk is that Trump follows through on the threat and then China bans a US company or technology in retaliation.
From a propaganda perspective, it’s also good for China. Any time they cut off technology domestically, they can argue that the US is doing the same thing.