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

Founder Zhang Yiming sent an internal letter to employees

  
People walk past the Bytedance headquarters building in Beijing, China August 3, 2020.

People walk past the Bytedance headquarters building in Beijing, China August 3, 2020.

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING - 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 Corp prompted online criticism of the firm and Zhang.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai, editing by Louise Heavens) ((Yingzhi.Yang@thomsonreuters.com; +861056692133;))

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