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China said to prefer TikTok end over sale

China opposes a forced sale of TikTok's operations in the U.S. and would rather see the popular video app shut down, Reuters reported Friday, citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

President Donald Trump has set a Tuesday deadline for TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance Ltd. to comply with an executive order to sell TikTok or face a ban. Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp have submitted bids to ByteDance, but the process has been complicated in recent weeks after China imposed new rules on technology exports that would apply to TikTok. ByteDance is increasingly likely to miss the deadline, people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg. Trump said Thursday that he's not considering an extension.

Chinese officials think a forced sale would make ByteDance and China appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington, Reuters reported. In a statement to Bloomberg News, ByteDance said "the government has never suggested to us that we should shut down TikTok in the U.S. or any other market."

China is willing to use revisions it made to a technology exports list on Aug. 28 to delay any deal reached by ByteDance if it had to, Reuters reported, citing two of the people familiar with the matter.

-- Bloomberg News

Alabama freight-car factory set to close

FLORENCE, Ala. -- A factory that employs hundreds of people manufacturing railroad cars in north Alabama is closing as demand declines during the coronavirus pandemic.

FreightCar America announced Thursday that it is shutting down its plant at Cherokee and plans to abandon the facility by early next year to consolidate operations in Castanos, Mexico.

Kevin Jackson, president of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, said the factory has about 500 workers, according to the TimesDaily.

The factory makes cars used to haul bulk goods and other items. The problem of depressed demand for freight cars has been made worse by the pandemic, and the company is trying to get ready for "immediate success" after the downturn, said a statement by chief executive Jim Meyer.

The shutdown will save more than $20 million annually in fixed costs and make it possible for the company to break even by producing fewer than 2,000 cars annually, the statement said.

-- The Associated Press

8 state stocks gain, but index down 0.85

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 437.18, down 0.85.

Eight index stocks rose as the Dow regained a portion of the losses from earlier in the week.

Uniti Group shares rose 3.66% and Dillard's stock was up 2.31%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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