Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Chinese media lashes out at US ‘COWARDICE’ as TikTok row deepens

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It comes as US technology giant Microsoft considers a purchase of TikTok’s US wing. US President Donald Trump has given Microsoft and ByteDance – TokTok’s owner – 45 days from last Sunday to come to an agreement.

Mr Trump’s willingness to allow a US firm to purchase TikTok comes just two days after he said he was planning to ban the app outright.

On Monday, Chinese state news outlet Global Times published an article which claimed a ban of TikTok “reflects Washington’s cowardice”.

Global Times is part of the People’s Daily newspaper group – reported to be published by the Communist Party of China.

The article stated TikTok had been “suppressed” by the US government just as its global influence was growing.

The Global Times said: “The US’ decoupling from China starts with killing China’s competitive companies. Washington ignores rules and is unreasonable.”

It also compared the US’ actions towards TikTok to its treatment of Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.

It said: “The two companies are pioneers worldwide. They have brought a sense of crisis to US elites, which shows that China’s top companies have the ability to move to the forefront of the world in technology.

“It reflects the power of China as an emerging market. As long as such power continues to expand, these top Chinese companies can eventually break through US suppression.”

READ: Trump makes major TikTok U-turn as tech giant gets ‘go-ahead’ on takeover offer [REPORT]

It remains to be seen what will come of any deal between Microsoft and TikTok.

As well as the 45-day time constraint, Mr Trump said the deal could only go ahead if the US would be making a “substantial” amount of money out of it.

Analysts have said acquiring the Chinese firm would allow Microsoft to compete with social media giants like Facebook, Snap Inc, and Twitter. Microsoft currently owns LinkedIn.

Shares in Microsoft – owned by US billionaire Bill Gates – jumped 3 percent when markets opened on Monday after the news.

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Microsoft’s total market value is now just over $1.6 trillion USD.

In a statement, the firm said: “Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.

“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns.

“It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”

Microsoft said it is in talks with ByteDance to buy, own, and operate TikTok in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

It added: “This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections.

“The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”

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