China Calls TikTok Deal 'Extortion'; Says It Will Not Approve

from the back-to-the-drawing-board-folks dept

As was hinted at in our previous post on China's response to Trump forcing TikTok to... not actually be sold to Oracle, but to force TikTok into signing a hosting deal to store data in the US, it appears that China is going to do some posturing of its own. The Chinese government has said that it will block the deal which it calls "extortion."

And, to be fair, the Chinese government has a point. It was extortionate. Trump told ByteDance it had to sell or TikTok would be blocked in the US. And while it didn't actually sell TikTok, it was forced at gunpoint into a deal that it appears it would not have made otherwise. And, of course, China holds all the leverage here because Trump is a ridiculously bad dealmaker. His "plan" flopped in that he didn't force a sale, and then to save face (and to help out one of his big donors) he gave the thumbs up to the Oracle non-purchase/hosting contract. It was already a weak move that everyone other than the dumbest of Trump's fans knows is a weak move by a President who swings the executive power bat like a toddler who just learned how to smash things.

So, of course China is going to move for a better deal. In the Chinese state-controlled English language outlet China Daily, the the Chinese government goes in for the kill.

What the United States has done to TikTok is almost the same as a gangster forcing an unreasonable and unfair business deal on a legitimate company.

It (correctly) calls out that the "national security" excuse that Trump used is an obvious fig leaf and hogwash for his real motives. Of course, it claims that it was really about the US wanting to kill foreign competition, when that's unlikely to be the case. It's got more to do with various culture wars the President feels like fighting, rather than actually leading in the midst of a pandemic.

The editorial claims that even with this half-assed Oracle deal, it's a move towards the US using mafioso techniques to gain control over TikTok, and says that China has no reason to approve the deal on its end.

It is not the first time the US has played such dirty tricks to bully foreign companies in order to either destroy them or take them over.

China has no reason to give the green light to such a deal, which is dirty and unfair and based on bullying and extortion. If the US gets its way, it will continue to do the same with other foreign companies. Giving in to the unreasonable demands of the US would mean the doom of the Chinese company ByteDance.

Again, this is almost certainly just more posturing. And, ridiculously, what's it's likely to come down to is some sort of stupid diplomatic discussion between the US State Department and counterparts in China to come up with something that will make the deal work -- which means it will almost be an already worse deal than it currently is, with no redeeming points whatsoever, and what little Trump "got" out of the deal will not just be whittled down to nothing, but probably less than nothing.

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Filed Under: china, deals, donald trump, extortion, national security
Companies: bytedance, oracle, tiktok

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  1. icon
    spodula (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 12:43am


    If it was anyone other than the chinese government, i would agree this was a bad thing.

    However, as they do this on a daily basis preventing foreign own companies operating in China (anyone operating in china has to have a majority local ownership), we are firmly in in pot-kettle territory here.

    Its still the wrong reasons on the part of the Cheeto dictator, but i think its the right decision.

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