Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
TikTok’s high-profile search for a US buyer is hitting a roadblock after weeks of public negotiations and months of national security debates. A string of reports from Reuters, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal describes a growing stalemate over the algorithm behind TikTok’s For You page, arguably the most important piece of software the company has. That algorithm has become a sticking point between the US and China, and what happens to that algorithm now seems like the central issue for any possible deal.
First publicly confirmed on August 2nd, the proposed TikTok acquisition comes in response to months of escalating concerns about Chinese ownership of an app used by millions of Americans. Microsoft, Oracle, and Triller have all…