China’s TikTok Halts Plans for Global Base in U.K.

TikTok suspended talks to build a global headquarters in the U.K., and Communist Party officials in Beijing have warned British companies doing business in China they’re set to face retaliation over the government’s decision to stop working with Huawei Technologies Co., The Sunday Times reported.

ByteDance Ltd., parent company of the video app, had been in talks with officials from the Department for International Trade and with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Downing Street office for several months, according the newspaper. The new base was set to create 3,000 jobs.

The report suggests the fallout from the U.K. decision to ban Huawei from its next-generation wireless network could amount to more than just a diplomatic spat. The government is trying to revive Britain’s reputation as a country open for business following its departure from the European Union, while China has warned Johnson it will face consequences if the U.K. treats it as a “hostile partner.”

In a separate report that may irk the White House, the Observer newspaper said the government privately told Huawei the decision stemmed partly from U.S. pressure. British officials reportedly gave the impression that it could be reviewed if President Donald Trump fails to win a second term.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to visit London this week, with China and a U.S.-U.K. trade deal among the topics up for discussion.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/Chris Stokel-Walker



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