As of Saturday night, it appears that TikTok will not shut down on Sunday.
President Trump appears to have actually been bluffing this entire time, which is sort of epic and based.
I may now be known as “ye of little faith,” because I thought he was going to shut this app down and piss off a bunch of teenagers.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he supported a deal in principle that would allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, even as it appeared to conflict with his earlier order for China’s ByteDance to divest the video app.
ByteDance was racing to avoid a crackdown on TikTok after the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday it would block new downloads and updates to the app come Sunday. U.S. officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to China’s Communist Party government.
Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 14 giving ByteDance 90 days to sell TikTok. The deal announced on Saturday, however, is structured as a partnership rather than a divestment.
TikTok will be owned by a new company called TikTok Global and will be headquartered in the United States, possibly in Texas, Trump said. Oracle Corp will take a 12.5% stake in TikTok Global and store all its U.S. user data on its cloud to comply with U.S. national security requirements, the companies said. Retail giant Walmart said it would take a 7.5% stake in TikTok Global. The implied valuation for TikTok Global as a result of these investments could not be learned.
While Oracle and Walmart said that TikTok Global will be majority-owned by U.S. investors, this is the case only if one takes into account ByteDance’s investor base, according to a source familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the deal’s structure. This is because ByteDance will own 80% of TikTok Global, the source said.
Given that U.S. investors currently own about 40% of ByteDance, the White House will count that towards how much of TikTok Global is owned by U.S. parties, the source added. As a result, Oracle, Walmart, and ByteDance’s U.S. investors will own, directly or indirectly, about 53% of TikTok Global, a second source said.
Beijing-based ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Walmart and Oracle also did not offer more information on TikTok Global’s ownership structure.
It was not immediately clear what spurred the White House to compromise on its push for an outright sale of TikTok. However, the deal comes with pledges that cater to Trump’s ‘America First’ policy agenda. It also averts alienating TikTok’s young users ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. election.
That last sentence there – I’ve never seen anyone in the media say it, other than me. It just would have been so obviously stupid. This whole thing is frankly stupid, given that no matter what, it doesn’t benefit Trump, and is designed to I guess harass the Chinese. It appeared that it was designed to help Facebook and Google, but now, not so much.
This whole “the US has a capitalist free market economy” thing has already been totally disproved in so many different ways, in particular when all small businesses were shut down by the government and the valuation of these businesses was transferred to Jeff Bezos. And the fact that no judge or court tried to stop Trump from shutting down TikTok by literally banning people from downloading the app showed that there is nothing standing in the way of that.
So, actually, I of little faith must admit, Trump could have just set a precedent for shutting down other social media companies. There would be effectively zero difference in doing this to Facebook, since Facebook is a publicly traded company with a large foreign ownership. (Vanguard Group and BlackRock both own huge stakes in Facebook and both in turn have international investors, including many Chinese.)
I hope Trump does shut down Facebook. That would actually mean something. This is a company that clearly is hurting America, while Tiktok is doing nothing more than enabling sluts to go buckwild.