China Denounces TikTok Deal, Which Now Might Be Dead In The Water

( Call it “an American trap” as well as a “dirty and underhanded trick,” state-run media in China is now denouncing the deal that would see Oracle and Walmart acquired part of social media app TikTok.

The deal, which was agreed upon but hasn’t been finalized yet, would see Oracle and Walmart acquire a significant stake in the app, which is owned by parent company ByteDance. The company is based in China. President Donald Trump originally said he would block the app from use in the United States if TikTok didn’t sell its American interests to an American company.

But now, China is pushing back against the deal, which it says isn’t fair for their country or their companies. Speculation is that Xi Jinping, the president of China, doesn’t want to make it look like the U.S. forced any Chinese entity into a deal through a strong-handed measure.

The head of digital research at the Beijing consultancy firm Trivium, Kendra Schaefer, commented:

“Beijing basically doesn’t want to set a precedent where the U.S. can be allowed to unilaterally flex in this way. Having some role to play in the decision balances things out a bit.”

The deal that was agreed upon last weekend would see both Oracle and Walmart acquire 20% of TikTok. They would create a new company called TikTok Global that would be based in the U.S. The data and operations of the U.S. interests in the company would be separated out from that of its international interests.

In return, ByteDance would hold onto the algorithms that are run by artificial intelligence. This was an initial big hold-up to the deal.

The deal is reported to be worth roughly $60 billion.

These terms were apparently acceptable enough that Trump approved the deal. The Department of Justice even extended the deadline for when it would ban TikTok in the U.S. while details of the agreement were being finalized.

But then, negotiations took a turn. Later on Monday, ByteDance said it would still keep control over the new TikTok Global company. That completely contradicted Trump’s comments. Oracle even backed Trump’s view, which led to the president saying he could still undo the deal at any time.

China denounced the deal on Wednesday, with the state-run China Daily writing an opinion piece that read:

“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.”

ByteDance even went as far as asking a federal judge on Wednesday to stop the president from banning TikTok, a move that will go into effect this weekend if a deal isn’t reached.

Referring to ByteDance, Trump said:

“They will have nothing to do with it, and if they do, we just won’t make the deal. It’s going to be controlled, totally controlled by Oracle, and I guess they’re going public and they’re buying out the rest of it — they’re buying out a lot, and if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal.”