ByteDance says goal of U.S. was to ban TikTok app rather than force a sale, internal letter shows

Bytedance CEO and founder poses for a photograph in Beijing, China.

Gilles Sabrie | Bloomberg | Getty Images

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming told employees in an internal letter on Tuesday that the United States’ goal was not to force a sale of TikTok U.S. operations but rather to ban the app, and that some people had misconceptions about the situation.

The letter, which was reported by Chinese media and confirmed by a source to Reuters, was sent only to ByteDance’s Chinese employees after news that ByteDance was in talks to sell parts of TikTok to Microsoft prompted online criticism of the firm and Zhang.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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