Donald Trump says the government should cut sales of TikTok’s US unit if an American company buys it.
The US President said he had called for a “significant portion” of the purchase price in a phone call to Microsoft̵
He also warned that if there is no deal, he will ban the app owned by China’s ByteDance on September 15th.
ByteDance is under pressure to sell its US business after Trump threatens to take action against Chinese technology companies.
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The Trump administration has accused TikTok and others of providing data to the Chinese government about what Beijing and TikTok deny.
“The United States should receive a very high percentage of this price because we make it possible,” Trump said.
“It would come from sales that nobody but me would think of, but that’s how I think and I think it’s very fair,” he added.
The application for payment to the US Treasury made the negotiations even more difficult, as legal experts emphasized that such a request for regulatory approval for a transfer agreement would be highly unorthodox.
Nicholas Klein, a lawyer at DLA Piper, said broadly, “The government has no authority to enter into a private contract through the United States’ Foreign Investment Committee. This is the interinstitutional committee that is reviewing some.” Foreign investment in the United States.
The state-run daily China Daily said Tuesday that Beijing would not accept the theft of a Chinese technology company.
An editorial also warned that China “has many options to respond if the government does its planned smash and grab.”
Charlotte Jee, a reporter for MIT Technology Review, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology magazine, said Mt Trump’s comments were “pretty amazing”.
Speaking to the BBC Today show, she said, “I hate to say that, but it’s kind of almost mafia-like behavior – she threatens a ban that lowers the price, and then says,” Oh, we should get a cut of this deal later to say thank you for what we did there. ‘
“It’s also extraordinary behavior, because last week we had legislators in the United States trying to check if technology companies were too big, and now we have Trump trying to make one of them bigger so it’s one really, really bizarre situation is in. ”
Talks about a possible deal seemed to have been derailed on Friday when Mr. Trump said he was refusing Microsoft to buy TikTok’s US business.
While Mr. Trump, who is now approving a possible takeover, represents a significant change in the position of the White House, the tight deadline for talks is another major hurdle to a possible deal.
TikTok’s US business “will cease on September 15, unless Microsoft or someone else can buy it and work out a deal, a reasonable deal for the US Treasury Department to get a lot of money from,” he said.
White House trade advisor Peter Navarro also suggested that Microsoft could lose its stake in China if it buys TikTok’s US business.
“So the question is, is Microsoft compromised?” Mr. Navarro said in an interview with CNN. “Maybe Microsoft could sell its Chinese holdings?”
Microsoft confirmed in a blog post on Sunday that after a call between its executive director Satya Nadella and Mr. Trump, it would continue discussions about a possible deal with TikTok.
The technology giant declined to comment further on the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Nadella beyond the blog.
At the weekend, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Trump would “take action in the coming days” against Chinese software companies that he believed were a national security risk.
Mr. Pompeo told Fox News that TikTok was one of those who “forward data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.”
However, he has not provided any evidence to support his claim.