by Leftgun 左輪
US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin indicated that he would look into national security issues related to Oracle’s plan to become the technical partner of Tik Tok’s US business. This follows the futile proposal for Tik Tok to sell its US business to Microsoft just a few days ahead of September 20, which is the deadline for Tik Tok to be sold to a US company as required by President Trump’s executive order. As expected, China Communist Party (“CCP”) jumped up and down to accuse the US of economic bullying.
According to Reuter and Asian Wall Street Journal, TiK Tok chose to cooperate with a consortium led by Oracle. This is not a sale of its business but rather a re-organization involving Oracle as its technology partner.
Obviously, Tik Tok as a CCP controlled entity, has no final say in the game plan or even its own destiny – dictator Xi calls the shot. What is different though, it appears that Beijing doesn’t want to appear weak in this latest round of combat. From the closing of the Houston Chinese Consulate, the limitation of Chinese officials’ activities in the US, the shutting down of Confucius Institutes in various US universities, the cancellation of some Chinese student and visiting visas, the proposed delisting of non-complying Chinese companies in the US, and up to the latest series of banning and containment of top Chinese media and internet such as WeChat and Alibaba in the US market, CCP has been in the defensive and lower hand position. CCP so far can only react by repeating its usual rhetoric – accusing the US of using state power to suppress and bully private entities and innocent Chinese and that it would strongly and firmly object. In Tik Tok’s situation, CCP might be thinking of taking an aggressive stance this time by returning a direct punch to Trump – objecting to a sale even at the expense of losing the US business. Tik Tok or its shareholders’ interest is never a part of CCP’s equation in any case. Showing its muscle in Tik Tok, CCP might hope it would intimidate the US and gain some points before going into the next round, particularly on the banning of WeChat and the like.
Putting aside the eventual fate of Tik Tok in the US, the real significance of this latest action taken against the CCP is that hopefully, it would awake another batch of American towards the clear and present danger of the CCP on its unrestricted warfare towards the US on the information and net front.
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