What you need to know
- ByteDance has been put on the clock by President Trump.
- It has been given 45 days to agree a sale of TikTok to Microsoft.
- In a leaked internal letter, CEO Zhang Yiming says that the "primary goal" of the White House is still to ban the app.
According to multiple outlets, the CEO of TikTok parent company ByteDance has said that the "primary goal" of President Trump and Washington remains a ban on TikTok in the U.S. rather than its sale.
The letter, according to the report, was issued to ByteDance's Chinese employees following criticism of the firm after it was revealed that a deal may be in the works to sell TikTok to Microsoft.
Reuters: BYTEDANCE CEO TELLS EMPLOYEES IN INTERNAL LETTER THAT U.S.'S GOAL WAS NOT TO FORCE A SALE OF TIKTOK U.S. VIA CFIUS BUT RATHER TO BAN THE APP-SOURCEReuters: BYTEDANCE CEO TELLS EMPLOYEES IN INTERNAL LETTER THAT U.S.'S GOAL WAS NOT TO FORCE A SALE OF TIKTOK U.S. VIA CFIUS BUT RATHER TO BAN THE APP-SOURCE— Vincent Lee (@Rover829) August 4, 2020August 4, 2020
As Sputnik reports, the letter reportedly stated that anti-China sentiment "has risen in many countries in the last two years":
The latest reports suggest that President Trump has approved a 45-day window for ByteDance and Microsoft to come to an agreement over a sale. Inexplicably, President Trump has also demanded that the government gets a "substantial portion" of the sale stating:
As per the BBC, DLA Piper lawyer Nicholas Klein noted that the government "doesn't have the authority to take a cut of a private deal" through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. MIT Technology Review reported Charlotte Jee also said that the President's comments were "pretty astonishing" and akin to "Mafia-like behavior," by threatening a ban to drive the price of TikTok down and then taking a cut of the deal afterward.
In a statement on Sunday, ByteDance said it was "faced with all kinds of complicated and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political environment, the collision and conflict of different cultures, and the plagiarism and smear of competitor Facebook." In a letter sent to employees yesterday, CEO Zhang Yiming said:
The situation appears to remain extremely fluid at this time.
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