Hasn’t it been exasperating to follow all the news around Tiktok/Oracle/Walmart deal? It surely has been, not just for you as a reader, but more so for us as a publisher. And just when we thought there is some clarity on the same, we have more exasperating stuff coming right your way.
After the recent contradicting claims of the ownership structure in the new entity ‘TikTok Global,’ I am not even surprised by the latest roadblock that has emerged for this deal. China’s state-owned tabloid — Global Times — which usually acts as an insigt to China’s govt. policies, reports in an editorial that Beijing is unlikely to approve of this new deal between ByteDance and the two American firms, fearing it will partially give control of the app to the US.
On 20th September, Bytedance announced the formation of TikTok Global in partnership with Oracle, which was/is to serve as its technical partner(depending upon the future of said deal) and Walmart as its commercial partner. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance claimed that it will retain 80% in the new entity and the other 20% will be divided as 12.5% to Oracle and 7.5% to Walmart. This claim hit a wall with Oracle’s statement that claimed that American firms will control the majority of the stake in TikTok Global and nothing will be given to ByteDance. Oracle’s statement is in line with Donald Trump’s wish to run TikTok with complete American control without any Chinese interference.
According to the Global Times article, the idea of complete American control of TikTok did not strike a chord with the Chinese authorities. Moreover, the author thinks that the demand placed by Americans for providing the source code of TikTok to Oracle is preposterous. This is because Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of Tiktok, also owned by ByteDance probably uses the same source code as TikTok, and therefore, the article claims the US can easily get its eyes on the operations of the Chinese app.
The article says, “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. If the reorganization of TikTok under U.S. manipulation becomes a model, it means once any successful Chinese company expands its business to the U.S. and becomes competitive, it will be targeted by the U.S. and turned into a U.S.-controlled company via trickery and coercion, which eventually serves only U.S. interests”.
These statements in the newspaper rigidly oppose the idea of having four American board members in TikTok Global, which has five seats in total. The inclusion of only one Chinese official on the board and an American national security director upset the author of the article.
Things seem to be pretty heated right now in the TikTok Global deal and it seems like we won’t see any repose as of yet in the comeback of the app in the US. The ugly turn of events is hinting at heavy repercussions for the announced deal.