Blowback Time: China Says TikTok Deal Is A Model For How It Should Deal With US Companies In China

from the because-of-course dept

We've already covered what a ridiculous, pathetic grift the Oracle/TikTok deal was. Despite it being premised on a "national security threat" from China, because the app might share some data (all of which is easily buyable from data brokers) with Chinese officials, the final deal cured none of that, left the Chinese firm ByteDance with 80% ownership of TikTok, and gave Trump supporters at Oracle a fat contract -- and allowed Trump to pretend he did something.

Of course, what he really did was hand China a huge gift. In response to the deal, state media in China is now highlighting how the Chinese government can use this deal as a model for the Chinese to force the restructuring of US tech companies, and force the data to be controlled by local companies in China. This is from the editor-in-chief of The Global Times, a Chinese, state-sponsored newspaper:

That says:

The US restructuring of TikTok’s stake and actual control should be used as a model and promoted globally. Overseas operation of companies such as Google, Facebook shall all undergo such restructure and be under actual control of local companies for security concerns.

So, beyond doing absolutely nothing to solve the "problem" that politicians in the US laid out, the deal works in reverse. It's given justification for China to mess with American companies in the same way, and push to expose more data to the Chinese government.

Great work, Trump. Hell of a deal.

Meanwhile, the same Twitter feed says that it's expected that officials in Beijing are going to reject the deal from their end, and seek to negotiate one even more favorable to China's "national security interests and dignity."

So, beyond everything else, Trump's "deal" has probably done more to help China, and harm data privacy and protection, while also handing China a justification playbook to do so: "See, we're just following your lead!"

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Filed Under: blowback, china, data localization, donald trump
Companies: bytedance, facebook, google, oracle, tiktok, walmart


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 7:48am

    That showed them

    Trump's supporters have got to be beaming, he really stuck it to those filthy foreigners with his latest masterstroke so long as you ignore everything about it other than what him or his cult are crowing about it.

    China on the other hand... well, their grins are most certainly going to be well earned as Trump just handed them a massive gift, though given it's likely to be used against companies that Trump hates he'll probably see that as a win for him as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 5:46am

      Re: That showed them

      "China on the other hand... well, their grins are most certainly going to be well earned as Trump just handed them a massive gift..."

      I've been saying it for years - Xi Jin Ping probably still can't believe his luck in running into a gwailo president so unprincipled he'd sell his whole country in exchange for a few headlines.

      It closely resembles the way Trump backed out of a relative "best effort" trade deal with China in favor of a trade war which hurt the US far more than China and ended up going back and accepting a trade deal China really liked.
      Which he then presented as a "win". It's amazing how Trump can actually succeed in haggling the sales price up - when he does the buying - and still claim he's a Great Negotiator.

      Even more amazing that his cult eats his bullshit up like it was a tub of Ben & Jerry's.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 9:38am

    For someone who has professed to being some kind of a ladies’ man (whether they like it or not), Trump sure knows how to fuck himself up the ass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 9:43am

    China messes with American companies anyway and has been for a while. The idea you're pushing they needed this mess as justification is laughable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      How do trade deals work?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      There's a world of difference between messing with a company but having to keep at least some plausible deniability during the process should you get caught, and therefore being limited in what you can do, versus being given free reign to screw with companies because if someone tries to call you on it you can just point to what they did and demand that they explain why it's okay for them to do something but not you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Kitsune106, 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:26am

        Re: Re:

        They can even do it less and say "see. We followed their example but we're not as punitive. Aren't we good people. Since if we are on wrong, so is US.... So.. are we wrong?"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 12:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's the same mechanism as when GWB lied his way into the Iraq war of aggression. A week or two after it started Putin started walking the red army into the former soviet breakaway republics and cut short their dreams of independence. Because "chechnyan terrorists" and "We do nothing the US isn't already doing".

          When someone does a wrong thing the thing to do is lead by example and hold them accountable - not lowering the bar until that wrong thing becomes an acceptable thing instead.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Kitsune106, 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:21am

      Re: true but

      Now they can use whataboutisms. And it's not as bad as "see, we are doing it less then US... Defender of all that's good "

      This is just a political win and let's them let themselves be demanded by own public to defend interest. They are able to cloak the bad ina. Veil of good. How we demand security and how the UD got interment camps in World War Two.

      (Fun fact, the Nazi eugenics and who was a new was based off of US him crow laws and eugenics movement. And they felt some of the stuff was too extreme. )

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      Not like this they haven't. And no, China never needed an excuse, but dickwad-in-chief gave them one anyway. It's all a hugely illegal pile of steaming bullshit, and apparently some dumbasses want other countries to do this to US companies as well. (Not that any country needs any excuse with regards to citizen data protection, between the the twin pillars of US surveillance capitalism, and the US surveillance state.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 2:11am

      Re:

      They don't need this as justification, but they've just been handed one for future activity, especially when dealing with US companies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 5:55am

      Re:

      "The idea you're pushing they needed this mess as justification is laughable."

      Nope.

      There's a lot of stuff other countries simply don't do because it loses them more than it gains. Russia didn't invade Georgia or the Ukraine - until GWB tossed the international playbook on what constitutes a valid casus belli into the drink.
      And China has never tried to force a foreign company to dismantle itself for their profit - until Trump just provided the precedence that this is quite OK to do.

      Here's the difference from then to now; When China now does the same to any american company as the US did to TikTok the US can't complain. The WTO won't act on the US behalf. The international community will shrug and say "Guess that door swung both ways, huh?".

      It's amazing how the US has gone from being that staunch well-respected neighbor in the 50's to being that weird glue-sniffing junkie next door you can't trust enough to leave your car unlocked in the driveway.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 9:55am

    China already operates this way

    (1) China already requires local partners to run online services. GCBD is the operator partner for iCloud, 21Vianet operates Azure data centers as two examples.

    (2) Google and Facebook don't operate services in China, so not sure why the apparatchick cited those two examples.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Kitsune106, 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:25am

      Re: China already operates this way

      Because they have people who use that service. This they have a presence.... It's a virtual presence. Otherwise , they have to make it so they cannot access it from there. And could also count on it as "if you buy products form us, that's a presence."

      Silly but that's following some USA things. And the audience is for its own and others who follow rules. Since US says it's okay to do to others it's okay to do back. The tit for tat. That if you do one move I assume you are fully able and willing and ready to have it done to you. You laid the rules, so don't complain if you don't like what did it me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    NotTheMomma (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:03am

    Are the Mexicans paying for this too? They paid for the wall, right? RIGHT?

    Trump's lack of knowing how trade or anything business works, other than filing for bankruptcy, is astounding. People had to of seen this coming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coffee U (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Wall

      Trump's trying to use out of control Covid to not only get Mexico, but also Canada to build a wall. I know up north, we don't want American's crossing in right now, and no one I know wants the border re-opened (well, opened more than it is).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bob, 23 Sep 2020 @ 2:21am

      Re:

      I also ding trump for his bad business practices and his multiple bankruptcies and failed companies. But the fact remains he/his company still owns a lot of land, has multiple commercial rentals, and has more money now than when he started with his father's loan/gift.

      He probably has gained at least some of that money illegally and for sure unethically by stiffing creditors and others. But he does have money and assets to his name. I doubt he is as wealthy as he claims but we won't know that until his tax returns are shown.

      So I can't say he knows nothing about business but he sure gives that impression each time he talks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 2:47am

        Re: Re:

        "But the fact remains he/his company still owns a lot of land, has multiple commercial rentals, and has more money now than when he started with his father's loan/gift."

        There's been multiple studies that suggest that he'd have made more money if he'd just put the money in a standard investment account - and that's assuming that he's as rich as he claims. I suspect that part of his refusal to release tax documents is that they reflect his true wealth. Or, solid evidence of an extent of foreign influence that calls into question every action he's made since starting his campaign.

        But, his track record isn't great. He managed to do pretty well during a massive property boom in one of the world's largest cities with millions of investment behind him. He managed to sell himself as a TV gameshow host, and he managed to sell branding with his name on it for people to use on properties he didn't own. Apart from that, he's failed at almost everything, which includes selling air travel, steaks, alcohol and gambling to Americans.

        "So I can't say he knows nothing about business but he sure gives that impression each time he talks."

        He's a used car salesman. He can bluster and lie as much as he wants to get the initial sale, but he fails miserably with any kind of long term planning. That's why his pattern is to bluster about some supposed successes, then file bankruptcy and still contractors. He can only do the initial sale, not the long term business model.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 12:19am

        Re: Re:

        "So I can't say he knows nothing about business but he sure gives that impression each time he talks."

        What Trump knows isn't business. He knows grifting and showmanship.

        Briefly put if you want to see the closest equivalent to Trump then look to P.T. Barnum.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John85851 (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        "but we won't know that until his tax returns are shown."

        What is the police always say: if you're innocent then you have nothing to hide.

        Then what explains Trump's refusal to show his taxes?
        1) He's not as rich as he claims, which would be a blow to his ego.
        2) He has a lot of illegal/ shady investments from foreign countries, which could land him in jail.

        Like with so many things, if Trump really though his taxes were great, he'd be showing them off to the world. You know, like all the evidence that he wasn't guilty of all the impeachment charges... which the Senate didn't even bother listening to.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's certainly my opinion. If Trump didn't have something to hide, he'd be showing off his tax returns at every opportunity. He can't shut up about having "aced" a test intended to indicate that he's not suffering from dementia yet, so why would he be blocking the evidence that he's so rich unless he has a reason to hide it?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      "People had to of seen this coming."

      As with everything Trump, people did see this coming. It's the same as his Trade war which lost the US so damn much in the new China negotiations.

      It's just that Trump knows an important part about the american people; As long as he keeps screaming about what a win he's brought home no one's going to look closely enough to notice that what he's got in his hand is a well filled night pot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:25am

    Tut tut, your manners.

    One doesn't look a grift horse in the mouth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 10:53am

    Not so bad...

    So from now on the Chinese model for dealing with American companies will be to accuse them of being American spies, threaten to ban then, force a sale of a minor portion of their equity to a Chinses company then declare victory after changing essentially nothing? Actually sounds like a small improvement over the old method...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 11:28am

    ISDS to the Rescue

    No worries. The Investor-state dispute settlement system will take care of everything. Thank the heavens that the US pushed this upon the rest of the world through their trade negotiations.

    /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 5:13pm

      Re: ISDS to the Rescue

      The Investor-state dispute settlement system will take care of everything for the US.

      FTFY.

      The US would only ever accept such rulings as long as the US benefited from them. The second one of those rulings threaten US power mongers, is the second those rulings get the same treatment as ICC rulings.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        bob, 23 Sep 2020 @ 2:10am

        Re: Re: ISDS to the Rescue

        If the US doesn't accept the legal rulings of the ISDS then other countries will ignore their rulings too which means American businesses will be impacted abroad. Since they seem to fund politicians the most you can bet they will put pressure on the government to accept the rulings unless it hurts the company more at home.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re: ISDS to the Rescue

          "If the US doesn't accept the legal rulings of the ISDS then other countries will ignore their rulings too which means American businesses will be impacted abroad."

          That, I believe, is why the US still maintains a well funded conventional army.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 12:10pm

    Considering Google and Facebook are already banned in mainland China, they shouldn't have an issue complying by making a literal shell company, as is what this TikTok Global nonsense is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 6:18am

      Re:

      "Considering Google and Facebook are already banned in mainland China, they shouldn't have an issue complying by making a literal shell company..."

      Which is why China will use this method on US companies which actually matter in China instead.

      Unfortunately for the US China holds all the cards. I mean, an actual set of trade sanctions between the US and China would mean China still moves on with a slight limp while the US economy collapses like a house of cards once every device with electronics in has to be smuggled in from Mexico, Canada, or from overseas. China owns enough US debt bonds they could in theory weaponize them by flooding the market and dropping the dollar.

      Ironically China probably didn't even aim for this, but if the gwailo self-defined "capitalists" are so inept at being capitalists they'll willingly give away their manufacturing industry and indebt themselves to the gills over a pointless war and a second vietnam I'm sure China was happy to take it.

      The Chinese have believed, for millennia, that any nation from outside their borders consists of shortsighted barbarians and historyless fools. So far we're not really proving them wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coffee U (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 12:24pm

    Please, please, please!

    China, Please do this for Apple! Think of all of the iPhones sold in China (and exported from China) that you can get a larger cut of!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Sep 2020 @ 1:03pm

    Internet Security makes the US everyone else's sucker.

    Curiously, this is a running theme. State department databases, Social security databases, even the big NSA mass surveillance database that US lawyers (allegedly) need a court order to access are compromised and easily hacked by foreign government agents.

    And they do.

    The good news is we may ultimately get to inflict public transparency on our federal offices after all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2020 @ 1:30pm

    China has been screwing Western companies for decades. This is hardly anything new.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2020 @ 1:08am

    Hahahahaha, sorry, hold on, ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    Oh dear, I lost my coffee when I saw this. Can't say I'm surprised though, it was only a matter of time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 10:09am

    What about other countries?

    What happens if other countries start thinking the same as the US and China? Could Russia demand a cut of Facebook or Google go to a Russian company? Could Iran demand a cut of Twitter go to an Iranian company?
    After all, it's only fair.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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