This is a request that causes many reactions, but Donald Trump did not budge. If Microsoft buys TikTok the chinese ByteDance, "a very large proportion of the price must revert to the Treasury of the United States," reiterated Tuesday the occupant of the White House. An odd requirement, which raises serious criticism and a certain embarrassment.
After declaring that it banned the social network very popular among young people, for reasons of " national security ", and that it was opposed to a takeover, Donald Trump finally declared in favour of an acquisition by Microsoft or another us company, by 15 September at the latest. "I told Microsoft, they are just the us portion of the TikTok or all of the enterprise, it is thanks to us, because we let you work here. Therefore, the United States should benefit, too, not just the sellers, " he developed at a press conference.
A transaction that it has, in fact, made compulsory, threatening the implementation of total prohibition if it does not pass into the hands of the united states. Washington is accusing the platform of spying on its users for the account of Beijing. "This is the kind of tactic mafia that we could see in Russia," said James Lewis, director of technology at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "I don't think this is constitutional. "
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"We've never seen anything like it"
" It is like being a landlord and a tenant : this is the lease that gives the value. We are the lease, in any way ", explained Donald Trump on Monday to justify its position. "TikTok is a formidable success. But a large part of this success is in this country ", he detailed, saying that it was "just" that the State receives a portion of the amount of the sale. The principle of financial compensation for the Treasury in a transaction is unusual and typically reserved for crises. Recently, major u.s. airlines have agreed to grant to the counterparties to the taxpayer, but it was in exchange of the significant aid of the State to deal with the pandemic of sars coronavirus.
The racket ?
The chairman's suggestion was "grossly inappropriate and has no legal basis," said Bobby Chesney, a law professor from the university of Texas, specializing in constitutional issues and national security. Former prosecutor Michael Bromwich has even likened the application of Donald Trump with racketeering in reference to a federal law on organized crime, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act (RICO). "When corruption and bribery become an art of living..." he tweeted Monday.
threats of Donald Trump come in a context of serious tensions between Beijing and Washington. China has reacted by accusing the United States of " political manipulation ". "This is bullying pure and simple ", has blasted Wang Wenbin, a spokesman of the chinese ministry of foreign Affairs, during a press conference.
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Microsoft, for its part, seems to have received the message loud and clear. "They have understood. They agree with me. They are quite agree with me, " assured Donald Trump on Tuesday. The boss Satya Nadella spoke Sunday with the president to convince him to approve the negotiations, already well advanced. In the aftermath, the group issued a press release explaining that the acquisition would be subject to " a full assessment of the security and should bring economic benefits to the United States, including the u.s. Treasury ".