China is unlikely to approve an “unfair” deal Oracle and Walmart said they have struck with ByteDance over the future of video-streaming app TikTok, the state-backed Global Times newspaper said in an editorial.
The US majors have said they would buy into a new, mainly US-owned company, TikTok Global, with a board of directors comprised mainly of Americans, as the parties work to pacify the administration of US President Donald Trump, which had planned to ban TikTok in the US on security grounds.
In contrast, ByteDance has said TikTok Global would be its US subsidiary with 80% ownership.
“It is clear that these articles (terms) extensively show Washington’s bullying style and hooligan logic. They hurt China’s national security, interests and dignity,” the newspaper said in an editorial in its English edition published late on Monday. It was also carried in its Chinese edition.
“From the information provided by the US, the deal was unfair. It caters to the unreasonable demands of Washington. It’s hard for us to believe that Beijing will approve such an agreement,” it said, echoing comments on Twitter the same evening from its editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin.
Hu on Tuesday, responding to comments Trump made to Fox News about how TikTok Global was going to be “totally controlled” by Oracle, said on Twitter: “Stop extorting. You think TikTok is a company from a small country? There’s no way the Chinese government will accept your demand. You can ruin TikTok’s US business, if US users do not object, but you can’t rob it and turn it into a US baby.”
The Global Times is a tabloid published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, but does not speak on behalf of the party and government unlike its parent publication.
China’s government has largely refrained from directly commenting on the deal’s details, though the foreign ministry has said the US should offer a fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies.
Reuters reported this month, citing sources, that Beijing opposed a forced sale of TikTok’s US operations by ByteDance, and would prefer to see the short video app shut down in the US. — Reported by Josh Horwitz and Brenda Goh, with additional reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Gabriel Crossley, (c) 2020 Reuters