Things Have Really Escalated In Terms Of TikTok v. Donald Trump. And They’ve Gotten Weird too.

Reuters is reporting that China’s ruling Communist Party blasted the efforts of the US to force a sale of TikTok to Microsoft via an editorial in the China Daily newspaper, saying it will not accept the “theft” of a Chinese tech company and is ready to respond if needed.

Now here’s how I read this. A lot of western companies build stuff in China. So I can easily see a scenario where China uses that as a way to hit back at the US. And that is certain to ratchet the tension up further.

But there’s also something weird about this whole situation. President Trump reiterated last that TikTok must sell off its U.S. operations in 45 days and that the deal must include a substantial payment to the U.S. government, otherwise the app would be banned.

I don’t mind whether it’s Microsoft or someone else, a big company, a secure company, a very American company buys it,” said Trump, according to Bloomberg. 

“It’ll close down on 15 September unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it and work out a deal, an appropriate deal, so the Treasury of the United States gets a lot of money,” he added.

That honestly sounds like something a mobster would say. Think about it. A private company potentially buys another company and the government of the day wants a cut for no other reason than because it can. That’s sketchy at best as it isn’t clear how the federal government could demand a cut of a transaction between two companies neither of which it has a stake in. That’s on top of the fact that it isn’t clear how Trump can ban TikTok.

Buckle up. This is going to get interesting.

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