February 29, 2024

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China has no reason to approve ‘dirty’ TikTok deal: China Daily

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has no reason to approve the “dirty and unfair” deal based on “bullying and extortion” that Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc said they struck with ByteDance, the state-backed English-language China Daily newspaper said on Wednesday.

“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 said in an editorial.

The three firms have issued conflicting statements over the terms of an agreement they hope will allow ByteDance’s video app TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, where the government plans to ban the app on security grounds.

ByteDance has said it will establish a U.S. subsidiary called TikTok Global of which it will own 80%.

Oracle and WalMart, however, have said majority ownership of TikTok Global would be in American hands, complying with an Aug. 14 executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump that ByteDance relinquish ownership of TikTok within 90 days.

“National security has become the weapon of choice for … Washington when it wants to curb the rise of any companies from foreign countries that are out-performing their U.S. peers,” the editorial said.

“Bytedance … stands to lose not only control of the company, but also its core technology that it has created and owns,” the commentary said. “China has no reason to give the green light to such a deal.”

The China Daily piece follows an editorial in the Global Times published late on Monday, which said China is unlikely to approve the deal. The Global Times is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

Another Global Times editorial published late on Tuesday characterised the deal as “extortion”.

“China as a big country will not accept blackmail from the U.S. Nor will it hand over control of an outstanding high-tech Chinese company to extortionists,” it said.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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