China announced new restrictions on artificial-intelligence technology exports that could further complicate the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, while intensifying the tech battle between the world’s two largest economies.
The new restrictions, unveiled Friday by China’s ministries in charge of commerce and science and technology, cover such computing and data-processing technologies as text analysis, content recommendation, speech modeling and voice-recognition.
Technologies on the list can’t be exported without a license from local commerce authorities.
The new restrictions could throw a wrench into talks between Chinese tech firm ByteDance Ltd. and potential buyers, as the owner of TikTok faces pressure from the White House to quickly sell the popular short-video app’s U.S. operations or face an effective ban.
On Saturday, China’s official Xinhua News Agency quoted a government trade adviser as saying that ByteDance should study the new export list and “seriously and cautiously” consider whether or not it should halt its sales negotiations.