TikTok deal in doubt as Trump demands total US control

Sep 22, 2020 | Regulation, Social

TikTok deal in doubt as Trump demands total US control
Donald Trump has warned he is prepared to cut off the Tiktok deal with Oracle and Walmart in the US, unless he is convinced that US companies will have "total control".

TikTok escaped a US ban on Sunday, after striking a deal with the American companies.

China-based owner Bytedance earlier said it would retain an 80% stake in the new company, TikTok Global.

But President Trump said: “They will have nothing to do with it. And if they do, we just won’t make the deal.”

The Chinese company ByteDance had reached an agreement with Oracle and Walmart that was designed to allay national security concerns, but Global Times, a newspaper backed by the Chinese state, has suggested Beijing is unlikely to give its approval.

Under the plans, a new US subsidiary would be tasked with running the video streaming app, which is growing in popularity worldwide.

But the newspaper’s editorial denounced a requirement that four of the five board seats of this company must be held by Americans, with only one reserved for a Chinese national.

“It is clear that these [terms] extensively show Washington’s bullying style and hooligan logic. They hurt China’s national security, interests and dignity,” the article warned.

Another paragraph added: “If the reorganisation of TikTok under US manipulation becomes a model, it means once any successful Chinese company expands its business to the US and becomes competitive, it will be targeted by the US and turned into a US-controlled company via trickery and coercion.”

US President Donald Trump has said that he won’t approve the deal unless he is satisfied that Oracle and Walmart have “total control” over TikTok – and warned he is prepared to scrap it.

“If we can save it, we’ll save it, and if we can’t we’ll cut if off,” he told reporters. “We have to have total security. That’s the only thing, very important, we have to have total security.”

The US Commerce Department had proposed to ban all downloads of the TikTok app in the US from last Sunday, but this measure was delayed by one week to give the companies time to finalise the deal