China has finally spoken on the possible US acquisition of its popular video recording app, TikTok. The app has attracted politicians’ attention due to its Chinese ownership and US trade mistrust with the country. Recently, The Trump administration has been targeting the popular TikTok app for weeks. He reasoned that he is worried about the privacy and security of American users on the Chinese app. Thus, President Trump has set September 15 as the deadline for the video-sharing app to find a U.S. buyer.
If the parent company of the video-clip sharing app fails to find a buyer, the government will shut down the app in the United States. President Trump has the power to add TikTok to the U.S. entity list, which could force American tech giants such as Apple and Google to drop the video-clip sharing platform from their app stores.
Recently, Microsoft said that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok app from its parent company and its potential deal with TikTok could provide “proper economic benefits to the United States.”
China’s government has stated that it will not accept an acquisition of TikTok’s U.S. operations by Microsoft Corp and, it may take action against Washington if a deal is forced to report the state-owned China Daily in Tuesday’s article. The editorial declared that China has “plenty of ways to respond if Trump’s administration carries out its planned smash and grab.”
On the contrary, another Chinese publication, The Global Times wrote China has a “limited ability” to protect its companies because the U.S. has technological superiority and considerable influence with its allies. The editorial also suggested that the treatment of ByteDance by the U.S. government indicates that it is attempting to sever its economy from China’s.
US President Demands a Cut
The American President argues that the federal government is entitled to a share of TikTok’s acquisition deal. When asked in a press briefing whether the money for the Treasury should come from Microsoft or TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, President Trump stated the U.S. should get a significant portion of the deal “either way.” He explained,
“Whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, or if it’s the Chinese — what the price is, the United States could — should get a very large percentage of that price. Because we’re making it possible,” he went on to say that the video-sharing app owes the U.S. for its success “TikTok is a tremendous success, but a big portion of it’s in this country,”
Trump demanding a cut of a transaction from a deal between two companies is unprecedented. Former chief counsel for the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Gene Kimmelman stated that “It’s not unheard of for transactions to have broader geopolitical implications between countries but it’s quite remarkable to think about some kind of money being on the table in connection with a transaction”
With the deadline coming closer, it is unclear what measures China could take to stop the sale of TikTok, and if TikTok will be acquired by a different company rather than Microsoft.