US WILL PROBABLY KEEP RAMPING UP PRESSURE ON CHINESE TECH FIRMS – EVEN IF A TRADE DEAL IS REACHED

  • The U.S. government is looking into TikTok owner ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly, and saying it could be a national security risk.
  • ByteDance follows the likes of Huawei and Hikvision in facing scrutiny from Washington.
  • Experts told CNBC that the Trump administration’s focus on Chinese tech giants is due to national security concerns, worries about the competitive threat to American firms and potentially to get leverage in trade negotiations.

The U.S. is ratcheting up pressure on Chinese technology firms and that may be a long-term strategy that continues — even if a trade deal is reached, one expert told CNBC.

Popular Chinese app TikTok is the latest company in Washington’s crosshairs.

A U.S. regulatory committee — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) — contacted the app’s parent company Bytedance over concerns that its 2017 acquisition of social media app Musical.ly, could be a national security risk, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC.

The Trump administration’s focus on Chinese tech giants is due to national security concern and worries about the competitive threat to American firms, experts told CNBC. They said it could potentially be used as a leverage in trade negotiations — but even if a trade deal is reached, Chinese technology firms will not be in the clear.

Earlier this year, telecommunications equipment maker Huawei was put on a U.S. blacklist which restricts the Chinese company’s access to U.S. technology. Washington holds the view that Huawei presents a national security risk because its networking gear could be used by Beijing for espionage.

The Trump administration has sought to persuade other governments to ban Huawei from the next-generation mobile networks, known as 5G. Huawei has repeatedly denied the U.S.’s allegations

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