Business & Economy

China will not accept unequal TikTok pact, says state media

Beijing, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- China will not accept an unequal pact that targets Chinese companies, the official daily newspaper Global Times said in an editorial on Tuesday in reference to the deal between American companies, Oracle and Walmart, and TikTok.

The newspaper, which is under the People’s Daily – the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party – claims that, according to the information provided by the United States, the deal is “unfair” and “caters to the unreasonable demands of Washington.”

“It’s hard for us to believe that Beijing will approve such an agreement,” it adds.

It points out that American citizens will “take up four of the five board seats” of TikTok Global – a new company to be launched by the popular Chinese video sharing app’s parent company, Bytedance, and Oracle and Walmart to allow it to continue operating in the US – in which “only one can be Chinese.”

It adds that the board of the newly formed company will also have a national security director, who must be approved by the US, and says that Oracle will have “the authority to check the source code of TikTok USA and updates.”

“As the TikTok and Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) should have the same source code, this means the US can get to know the operations of Douyin,” it adds and argues that the new company will control TikTok’s business around the world, except in China.

“It will block IP from the Chinese mainland to access it. This means the Americans can take control of the global business of TikTok and reject Chinese to access it,” the newspaper claims, even though the app is no longer accessible in China due to internet censorship in the country According to the Global Times, the terms of the agreement “hurt China’s national security, interests and dignity” and the US “with all its national strength” suppresses Bytedance and “forces it to sign a deal under coercion.”

“China, also a major country, will not yield to US intimidation and will not accept an unequal treaty that targets Chinese companies,” the daily warns.

The editorial also asserts that “if the reorganization of TikTok under US manipulation becomes a model,” any Chinese company that expands its business there and becomes competitive “will be targeted by the US and turned into a US-controlled company via trickery and coercion.”

“If China surrenders, which country in the world can resist?” asks the newspaper, adding that “once Washington succeeds, the US will enjoy global technological hegemony forever.”

Moreover, it questions whether American tech giants that have expanded around the world would “hand over its control to companies of the host country” or allow members of the board of directors to be approved by local governments.

Bytedance and the two US companies have offered very different versions of the agreement reached to form TikTok Global.

According to Oracle and Walmart – which will control 20 percent of the future firm – most of the new company will be US-owned, but according to ByteDance, it will have an 80 percent stake until its initial public offering on a US stock exchange, which is expected to take place within a year.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump threatened not to approve the agreement if US companies did not have “total control” of the new company.

“They will have nothing to do with it, and if they do, we just won’t make the deal,” Trump said, referring to ByteDance.

“If we find that they (Oracle) don’t have total control then we’re not going to approve the deal,” he added. EFE-EPA

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