The US president claims to have given “his blessing” to the alliance that will allow the Chinese social network to continue operating in the country
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced this Saturday that he has authorized the agreement by which TikTok will be associated with the American companies Oracle and Walmart. “I have given my blessing to the agreement, if they achieve it it would be great and if not, it would also be fine, but it is a great agreement for the United States,” said the president. The firms have yet to close the deal with the Treasury Department, but Trump’s statements have given the Chinese company ByteDance, owner of the social network, one more week to prevent the ban of the application in the United States.
Donald Trump has highlighted that if Oracle and Walmart partner with TikTok, “the security would be 100%, they will be using separate clouds and very powerful security and they will be making a contribution of 5,000 million dollars (4,200 million euros) in education” . The agreement that technology companies have finally reached involves the creation of a new company in the United States that will be called TikTok Global, in which Oracle and Walmart will have a 20% stake. Trump has assured that some 25,000 jobs will be created, mainly in the State of Texas.
The president began the offensive against the Chinese firm in August when he signed a presidential order to suspend its operations in the United States, unless ByteDance sold a part of the company to an American company. The suspension of downloads would begin this Sunday, September 20 – it has been postponed until September 27 – and the total suspension would take place on November 12. Trump has assured that the application of 30-second videos with music – and also the WeChat messaging network – pose a risk to national security because the collection of data from the social network is handed over to the Chinese Communist Party. According to the US Government, TikTok and WeChat “collect vast amounts of data from users, including activity on the networks, their location and their search and browsing history.”
The formal closing of the negotiations and the procedures in front of the Foreign Investment Committee of the Treasury Department is still pending. The fine print of the deal remains a mystery: it is not yet clear who will command the new company and what the role of the Chinese firm will be. According to The New York Times, up to 53% of the new company will remain in the hands of the United States, since some ByteDance investors are already American, and up to 11% will be owned by Europeans.
Beijing said Friday that it will act against foreign companies and individuals who “endanger” its sovereignty and security, and issued new rules related to its list of “untrustworthy entities”, announced more than 15 months ago and yet to be published. , by which it could sanction US firms and individuals in response to the measures of the Trump Administration.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs opposes the forced sale of TikTok, an operation that in its opinion violates the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Government of the Asian country sees the intention of selling TikTok as another chapter in the trade war between Beijing and Washington, which tries to contain the -increasing- Chinese technological power, which has already seen how the telecommunications firm Huawei has had to face restrictions, as well as the popular social network WeChat, owned by digital conglomerate Tencent.