Beijing defied a forced sale of TikTok’s US operations by its Chinese owner ByteDance, and would rather see the short video app close down in the US, three people with straight knowledge of the situation said on Friday. 

ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok’s US operations to likely buyers including Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) since US president Donald Trump pressured last month to ban the service if it was not sold. Trump has given a deadline to ByteDance of mid September to close the deal. 

However, Chinese officials think that an imposed sale would make both ByteDance and China seem weak in the face of constraint from Washington, the sources stated, speaking on condition of anonymity given the vulnerability of the situation.