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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  • icon
    TKnarr (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 9:46am

    Have to wonder if China will in fact compromise. Seems like they've got no reason to do so, and lots of reasons not to (not least of which is giving Trump a big PR black eye). There's just too many easy ways around any US "ban" of the app.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      I imagine any 'compromise' will be along the lines of 'we get everything you want, you get whatever scraps we throw your way', as it's not like they have any reason or need to offer more, though I'm sure Trump will still be crowing about his amazing negotiation skills to his cult regardless.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 2:57am

        Re: Re:

        "I'm sure Trump will still be crowing about his amazing negotiation skills to his cult regardless."

        All he has to do is shit in his hand, hold it to the sky, and bellow "Behold my works, ye mighty and despair!". And his cult will all view it as if he was hoisting the Holy Grail.

        It worked in his trade war (which ended with a solid loss to the US and a new treaty one-sidedly favoring China), after all. The man could drop half the US GDP on a gambling table in Macao, lose the lot, and still come back crowing over what a win he brought home.
        And his cult followers will all eat his bullshit right up because at some point in what passes for his explanation he makes sure to make fun of liberals, and that's all they're after anyway.

        I'd like to say there's a silver lining here even if that lining resembles an underwear skid mark more than silver but...it could have been worse. The person managing to harness the sheer hatred of the US right might have been the Bohemian Corporal rather than P.T. Barnum v2.0.

        Perhaps we shouldn't get our hopes up; Before the Bohemian Corporal arrives we still need a Hindenburg to pave the way. It'll be interesting to see which candidate the GOP sponsors four years from now.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2020 @ 9:53am

    All your bases are belonging to us...

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 11:25am

    Pot blackens self to match kettle, then calls kettle black

    This is wrong, wrong, wrong...So we're gonna do it, too.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2020 @ 11:35am

    It's a sign of how bad things have got when China holds the high ground.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 2:59am

      Re:

      "It's a sign of how bad things have got when China holds the high ground."

      Well, to be fair, in GWB's administration, Russia held the high ground. Trump is more focused on screwing his own country over rather than the rest of the world, that's the main difference.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 23 Sep 2020 @ 1:24pm

    RICO! ...RICO! ...RICO!

    ...Polo!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2020 @ 3:20pm

    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.

    Yes, now the other toddler bully is upset, and displays as much with toddler language. Good job everyone! Now go sit in a corner, each of you.

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

  • identicon
    bob, 23 Sep 2020 @ 5:49pm

    schrodinger's evidence

    Unfortunatly if he had evidence of a legitimate security concern im aure he would have shown it already. Which means one of two things to me. He has no evidence and this is just bluster or it is probably not possible to release it without losing valuable assets and methods for gathering info on other issues with China.

    Seems with all the posturing Trump has yet again put himself in a lose-lose situation. If he does have evidence he can't show it and if he has no evidence he has once again shown you can't trust a thing his presidency says.

    Both of which show he can't lead a country. I'm betting that China wipes the floor with his legal team if this is challenged in court.

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

    • icon
      zyffyr (profile), 23 Sep 2020 @ 11:46pm

      Re: schrodinger's evidence

      I suspect it is approximately as much a security concern as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

      Used on something that is supposed to have secure information would be a problem. Use by a normal person, well then it all depends on how foolish you are about putting personal information out there on it.

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

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

    Extortion

    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.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Sep 2020 @ 3:05am

      Re: Extortion

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

      It really isn't.

      We can argue about China bad for a long time and come to the same conclusion - that they are - but the answer can not be that our response is to abolish our own standards.

      This argument leads to this one; "Hey, Jake down the street never takes 'No' for an answer so he gets laid and the girls with their new shiners don't dare report him either. I should learn from him!".

      Bluntly put if another nation's laws don't conform to the higher standards you have in your own country what sort of madness grasped you that you'd advocate abolishing your own moral high ground and call it the right thing to do?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2020 @ 11:20pm

    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.

    Not almost. Literally.

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


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