Donald Trump

Donald Trump pushes US buying of TikTok, wants US Treasury to get a cut from deal

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As Microsoft moves ahead to acquire TikTok in US, President Donald Trump says that the government must get a “substantial cut” from the deal in case it proceeds to fulfill. President Trump revealed that he had talked about the demand with Microsoft head over the weekend. He further has warned that in case there is no deal finalized and a US company doesn’t buy the app TikTok by September 15, the app which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance would be banned from the country. This has brought the China-based firm ByteDance which owns the app TikTok to sell its US business after President Trump has threatened to shut the business and other Chinese tech companies.

Trump said, “The United States should get a very large percentage of that price, because we’re making it possible.” He further added, “It would come from the sale, which nobody else would be thinking about but me, but that’s the way I think, and I think it’s very fair.”

The request of cut from a private deal by Government for Treasury is a highly unorthodox move, experts say. A lawyer at DLA Piper, Nicholas Klein says that usually “the government doesn’t have the authority to take a cut of a private deal through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States”. This committee is an inter-agency entity which looks over foreign investments in the US.

Beijing is on the other hand at a non-compromising stand and is not willing to let the US get on with “theft” of Chinese company. A Chinese newspaper China Daily has warned in one of its editorial that China has “plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab.”

Charlotte Jee, a reporter at MIT Technology Review said, “I hate to say this but it is kind of almost Mafia-like behavior – threatening a ban which pushes down the price then saying ‘Oh we should get a cut of that deal afterwards to say thank you for what we’ve done there’.”

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