Reuters deals reporter Echo Wang gave a behind-the-scenes look at how the M&A team has been covering the story of TikTok’s sale of its U.S. operations.
Here is an excerpt:
Q: What were some of the big wins covering the story?
A: Lately, we were the first to report that President Trump would give ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of TikTok. An executive order the president later issued confirmed our scoop. We started covering TikTok’s potential regulatory challenges with operating in the U.S. before the story was widely discussed. We were the first to report the U.S. opened a national security inquiry into TikTok, which was the beginning of the saga. We exclusively reported on TikTok’s owner shifting power out of China, and its exit out of Hong Kong. In the negotiations involving the White House, we exclusively reported that TikTok’s owner agreed to divest the U.S. operation of TikTok completely to save a deal with the White House. This is only possible because we have a great team of colleagues working together from NY, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Beijing and Hong Kong.
Q: What was the hardest part of the reporting?
A: Getting sources to talk to us. I think that’s essentially the case for all deals reporting, as we are chasing confidential information. But reporting on TikTok is particularly challenging, as it touches on business and politics amid the escalating tension between the world’s two largest economies.
Q: Why are these stories important to tell our customers?
A: These stories are at the intersection of business, politics, the United States and China – they are a tale of our time. They can be a window to understand how the current political tension is impacting the market.
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