Right Now Times : US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that US President Donald Trump will take action on Chinese apps that he considers to pose a national security risk in the “next days”.
Pompeo said that TikTok, a short-video social media popular in the United States, is one of the companies that “provides data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.” TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has consistently denied the accusation.
Right Now Times : Two days before Pompeo’s remarks, Trump had stated that he would ban TikTok in the United States. This was seen as a broader US crackdown on Chinese companies including telecommunications providers Huawei and ZTE. But Microsoft said the company is currently considering acquiring TikTok’s US business.
ByteDance issued a statement on Monday (August 3) stating that the company is facing “unimaginable difficulties”, including “plagiarism and smear by competitor Facebook.”
Crack down on Chinese software
Right Now Times : In an interview with the American media Fox News Channel recently, Pompeo said that President Trump will take action against Chinese apps within a few days. He said that this move is to solve “software belts related to the Chinese Communist Party.” A series of national security risks to come”.
He said that “countless” companies doing business in the United States may be passing information to the Chinese government. The data may include facial recognition patterns, addresses, phone numbers, and contact information.
Right Now Times : “For the American people, this is a real privacy issue. For a long time, the United States just said,’Well, if we have fun or the company can make money from it, we will allow this to happen’, “He said.
Right Now Times : “President Trump said’enough’, we have to solve this problem,” Pompeo said on the show.
In another interview, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the Committee on Foreign Investments In the United States, which is responsible for reviewing the impact of foreign business transactions on national security, is reviewing TikTok.
Right Now Times : “The entire committee agrees that TikTok cannot remain in its current form because it may return information about 100 million Americans (to China),” he told the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “We agree that a change needs to be made-the application is forced to be sold or blocked.”
Trump said on Friday (July 31) that he plans to sign an executive order to ban TikTok in the United States. TikTok has 80 million monthly active users in the United States. The users of this application are mainly young people under the age of 20.
Microsoft is negotiating an acquisition
Right Now Times : According to previous reports from Reuters, Douyin’s parent company Bytedance has agreed to completely withdraw from TikTok’s US business, hoping to reach an agreement with the White House. After ByteDance exits, Microsoft will take over TikTok’s US business and be responsible for the preservation and management of all US user data.
Microsoft confirmed in a statement on Sunday (August 2) that they will negotiate with ByteDance to acquire TikTok’s US business.
Right Now Times : The company said that CEO Satya Nadella (Satya Nadella) spoke with President Trump on the acquisition on Sunday. Microsoft said the company “fully understands” the importance of addressing the president’s concerns and will conduct a comprehensive security review of the application.
In the statement, the American technology giant expressed its hope to complete negotiations with Bytedance before September 15. The company said it is considering acquiring TikTok’s services in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and is responsible for operations in these markets.
Right Now Times : Microsoft said the company may offer other US investors the opportunity to participate in the acquisition. The company said it will ensure that TikTok US user data is located in the United States, and data stored elsewhere will be deleted after the transfer.
Microsoft’s latest announcement once again changed market expectations. US President Trump has previously stated that he opposes the idea of Microsoft acquiring TikTok and will take action to ban this application in the United States. The outside world once believed that the possibility of Microsoft’s acquisition was shelved.
Right Now Times : According to the American media “The Wall Street Journal” (The Wall Street Journal), ByteDance tried to make major concessions to the White House, including creating thousands of jobs within three years.
Right Now Times : “Financial Times” (Financial Times) reported that some executives of ByteDance believe that Trump’s intervention may be a negotiation strategy to help Microsoft gain the initiative in the transaction.
Microsoft said that the current negotiations are still in the “preliminary” stage, so there is “no guarantee” that the acquisition will continue.
ByteDance and Facebook’s “gratitude”
Right Now Times : ByteDance has remained tight-lipped about possible transactions with Microsoft. But in the face of a sudden blow, the company posted a video on the official TikTok account on Saturday (August 1) after a day of silence, saying, “We don’t plan to go anywhere.”
On Monday (August 3rd), ByteDance issued another statement in Chinese, stating that the company is facing “complex and unimaginable difficulties” in its efforts to become a global company.
Right Now Times : ByteDance undisguisedly criticized Facebook publicly. It stated that these difficulties include “a tense international political environment, collisions and conflicts between different cultures, plagiarism and smears by rival Facebook.”
Right Now Times : “We strictly abide by local laws and will actively use the rights granted to us by the law to safeguard the company’s legitimate rights and interests,” the company said in a statement.
As an American social media giant, Facebook has maintained a fiercely competitive relationship with ByteDance.
Right Now Times : In 2017, ByteDance launched TikTok, a mobile application with the same height as the domestic video social media “TikTok” outside of mainland China. A few months later, ByteDance acquired Musical.ly, another social media application popular among teenagers. According to US media reports, Facebook also tried to acquire the application in 2016, and it took several months to do so. .
In addition, according to CNBC reports, TikTok opened an office in Silicon Valley in the United States last year, and the office was used by Facebook’s WhatsApp. TikTok also began to hire a large number of Facebook employees.
Right Now Times : It is worth noting that because Microsoft and Facebook did not have much direct competition before, the two have cooperated on multiple projects. If Microsoft successfully acquires TikTok, the American technology giant, which already owns the commercial social software LinkedIn (LinkedIn), will have a greater influence in the field of social media.
At present, TikTok is believed to have about 500 million active users worldwide, of which there are about 80 million active users in the United States. The valuation of the US subsidiary is between 15 billion and 30 billion US dollars (104.6 billion to 209.2 billion yuan).
For and against
Right Now Times : Trump’s crackdown on TikTok comes at a time when the relationship between the United States and China is at a low point for many years. From the trade war to the issues of Hong Kong and the South China Sea, and China’s handling of the new crown epidemic, the United States has parted ways with China in many areas.
In late July, the United States announced the closure of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston on the grounds of “espionage”, and China subsequently closed the US Consulate General in Chengdu.
Right Now Times : Robert S. Spalding, a senior researcher at the Hudson Institute and a national security expert who studies Sino-US relations, has a tough attitude towards China. He said, “The innovation, technology, talent and capital of a free society can only be enjoyed by a free society.”
“If they are transferred to a dictatorship, not only will the dictator benefit, but the people of a free society will also bear the price. This is why democracy is slowly dying out,” he said.
Right Now Times : Hong Kong publisher Bao Pu commented that Bytedance was besieged as a technological company with innovative value. It was the Chinese authorities’ previous blockade of foreign companies such as Google’s “overlord clause” that was used to “repay the other way. The other body”.
However, some American scientists have criticized Trump’s crackdown. Former Facebook chief security officer and computer scientist at Stanford University, Alex Stamos, questioned whether the Trump administration’s move was out of national security concerns.
Right Now Times : “This is getting weird. Two weeks ago, a 100% sale to a U.S. company should be seen as a radical solution and ultimately resolve any reasonable data protection concerns. If the White House kills (the agreement), We know this has nothing to do with national security.”
Trump has also been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union. Jennifer Granick, the organization’s surveillance and cyber security consultant, said: “To prohibit an application that millions of Americans use to communicate with each other is a threat to freedom of speech and is not technically realistic.”
Right Now Times : “Shut down a platform, even if it is legally possible to do so, it will damage the freedom of online speech and will not help solve the wider problem of unreasonable government supervision,” she said.