Trump’s first Tiktok move: A China made its own making

Essentially, Trump has turned himself into a corner. His move against Tiktok is part of a broader stringent demonstration of China in which he has made a focal point of his reunion campaign, an outlet to highlight a flaw for misrepresenting coronoviruses. But every time he has chosen to face trade with China, 5G technology or Hong Kong – he ends up at a critical moment when he must find his way to get out of the jam.

This time, Trump’s path is not clear. If China delays a Tiktok sale – or cancels the deal altogether – Trump will be forced to form a relationship with Beijing or ban the viral video app directly from US soil. If Trump blinks an eyelid, they risk what Beijing looks like weeks before the election. If Trump pursues through his threats, he risks Chinese retaliation against the American business community, not for displeasing millions of Tickcock-loving Americans.

And a deadline has expired – Trump asked to complete a deal by September 20, and he said Thursday that he would not extend the deadline.

“It is an escalative move,” said Jude Blanchett, a Chinese expert at the foreign policy think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, referring to China’s recent moves. “If China stops the deal, it puts the Trump administration in a position to actually abide by the ban it has placed on Tickcock.”

Trump’s August announcement on a popular video app downloaded by more than a billion people marked a new phase in the president’s anti-China crusade, which has become central to his re-message. Earlier, Trump has focused on imposing tariffs on China and approving Chinese tech manufacturers. But the campaign against Tickcock suggests that the Trump administration is also set to target Chinese social media platforms. Officials have also promised to go after WeChat, the uber-popular Chinese messaging and payment app.

The pledges have raised concerns in the American business community, with industry leaders saying that China could curb its business interests in China, the world’s second-largest economy. For example, excluding American companies from working with WeChat Deprived Major firms with access to an important commercial platform.

But administration officials insist on the national security threats posed by these platforms that they are too serious to operate in the US economic ecosystem with heavy restrictions. The Trump administration claims companies such as Ticketok and WeChat are a vehicle for the Chinese government to spy on Americans – although it has provided no evidence of these allegations. On TikTok, in particular, the Trump administration has pointed to the application’s ability to “create dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” according to the administration’s executive order on TikTok. The company has denied those claims, and the administration has not specifically shown evidence that Tiktok improperly used or shared the data.

recently Report good The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, an Australian government-funded think tank, found a history of TeakTok and WeChat censoring topics considered sensitive in China – a distinctive feature for content platforms operating in the country. It also noted that the Chinese government has taken advantage of both companies in view of the country’s national security laws.

“TikTok has a documented history of censoring free speech to confirm [Chinese Community Party] Publicity, ”said a senior administration official. “This administration will not allow the CCP to tap the private information of American citizens.”

The Commerce Department has not yet clarified the scope of the administration’s orders on Tiktok and WeChat, or when possible sanctions may be imposed. And ByteDance is currently negotiating with Oracle and with Microsoft to sell its US Ticketok operations, partnering with Walmart on its bid. According to a person discussing the condition of anonymity, Microsoft is seen as the top bidder.

However, this person raised concerns about what China’s new export restrictions might mean. The rule requires companies to obtain a special license from the Chinese government to transfer all aspects of artificial intelligence technologies, such as algorithms, text analysis and content recommendation – to Central Tickcock.

So, while TickTalk can be a great prize for any winning bidder, there is uneasiness about the potential political headache that will come with navigating the deal with the Chinese government. ByteDance is currently trying to obtain licenses from the Chinese government for sale to Oracle or Microsoft, confusing the timeline for the deal, the person said.

If the new requirement rescinds an agreement, it could force Trump to follow through a lump-sum ban on Tikotok. A person close to the discussion, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the US government would be ready with other options for the president if one does not reach his deadline without a specified deadline. The Wall Street Journal report states that the US is exploring a possible restructuring of Tiktok, even if the entire sale does not happen. If Trump chooses to impose a similar ban on Tickcock, a lawsuit filed by the company could delay the process.

Blanchett said, “The Trump administration may have overshooted the landing here because it feels the ability to leverage on US markets is so strong that it can set conditions to take action, but China is trying to show that They have significant benefits.

“Now,” he said, “the US and China are facing an asymmetric situation. For China, the insult of being a company was removed from their control by the Trump administration. And now with China’s involvement, the Trump administration should be May have to follow through tasks. ”

The Trump administration has invested considerable energy in its tough-on-China campaign as an election summer ramp. Since the beginning of the year, the administration has approved some Chinese officials about Beijing’s treatment of the Uighur minority group, its military building in the South China Sea and its crackdown on pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong. More recently, Trump has been tricking Beijing into tackling coronoviruses, which he referred to as the “China Virus”, closing a Chinese consulate in Houston and banning Chinese diplomats in the US.

This rift has created a bottleneck in the business community. Industry leaders have expressed apprehension over losing access to China’s fast-growing market and large population, and are still cracking down on Trump’s trade war with China, during which he slapped steep tariffs on several products . A survey by the US-China Trade Council found that 86 percent of member companies said bilateral trade tensions negatively affected trade with China.

And while Ticketcock’s high-profile American users are young liberals – including the group that requested thousands of tickets for the Trump rally, hoping to troll the campaign and reduce attendance – many conservatives still on stage Users that Trump can simultaneously remove are complete sanctions.

Derek Scissor, China’s policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said, “The gains are hard to hold right now and the losses are really obvious.” “As a result, China feels that the President may change his mind, but I do not know how the President will withdraw from here.”

Essentially, he said, China has “raised Tickcock’s odds in America only to die.”

Nevertheless, Trump’s advisers insisted China target trade and national security, a winning issue.

“President Trump has held China accountable for cheating in trade, and has also pointed to him as the source of the coronovirus outbreak that lied about it and put the whole world behind the curve when it responded , ”Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtow said in a statement. “To date, Joe Biden does not see China as an economic threat. Joe Biden has a China problem and is a major issue in the campaign. “

Biden, for his part, approached Trump to continually stop China’s human rights abuses, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “thug” and vowing to strengthen alliances so that the US could present a united front Could and could compete with Beijing.

The Trump administration has shown some signs that if no American buyer is found, it plans to revert to its efforts to ban Tikok. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trade Advisor Peter Navarro also said the administration plans to crack down on more Chinese companies, although they did not say which ones could be targeted.

Navarro said last week on Fox Business, “It is important that this country does not use an app made in China, or that can take our data and go to a server in China. Using that data will allow you to monitor, Monitoring and tracking will be done. ” “This policy position is underlying why we have gone after TickTock and WeChat, and so will others as China is basically trying to get technology and influence around the world.”

Another senior administration official said that the White House is committed to creating any technology platform that can be manipulated to suppress speech and misuse its users.

“Where we try to cut and survey intimate data, and use it to intimidate and bully people or their relatives in our country, we are going to take steps – in some cases like you aggressively Looks against Tiktok and WeChat – to protect freedom of thought as well as freedom of speech in the United States, ”the official said in a conversation with reporters on Friday.

“At the end of the day,” said the officer, “the data we produce in this day and age is almost equal to what we think. So you have a new day about the modern police, which George Orwell wrote in his novel Wrote in ‘1984’.