Trumps TikTok Trouble Continues
It's now been about a week since Oracle announced that they would be saving Tiktok from being banned in the United States but it's kind of unclear what's actually happening right now to joining me to cut through the noise is senior reporter, Shrink Afar history hate any. So what exactly is going on I'm a little confused. Yeah I don't blame you. There's been a lot of twists and turns in this saga, but the latest is that Oracle his put forward offer. To take over part of TIKTOK. But not the majority of it of its US operations and the deal that Oracle proposed. By Dan's which is tiktok Chinese. Parent Company would still retain eighty percent ownership optic talk you us and the rest would be you know what Oracle at Walmart in partnership would negotiate ship five. Wait a minute. So by Dance Aka, a Chinese entity. Is still in charge of tiktok under the deal that Oracle Walmart proposed. Yes, which is a problem for trump. So while he initially said, he supported the deal he later reversed his position again, and if you remember from the beginning, he was saying I want nothing other than a full sail than he seemed open to lessen a full sail, and now we're back to where we started, which is trump saying that he won't accept anything other than hundred percent of Tiktok us being owned by Americans and not a Chinese company. So. Is there still a sense that this could fall through or does it feel like this now has trump's approval and science still delivered oh no. This definitely is at risk of falling through now I think that initially when trump blessed the steel there was you know probably people at tiktok breathe a sigh of relief but now that trump has again reversed his decision. It's unclear what's going to happen it very well could be this deal does not happen, and that's because the problems that trump has cited for national security haven't necessarily been appeased. Is that right? That's right and it's not just trump saying that I mean others have said you know even people who are not necessarily very partisan which sort of outside national security experts law professors. Sources I've spoken with say that yeah look if what you're worried about is national security and the Chinese government influencing tiktok this deal structure where a Chinese companies still retains majority ownership of tiktok wouldn't really help. Now we don't really know what exactly the national security concerns what the real threat is. It has yet to be proven. The TIKTOK is spying on US citizens or anything like that, and they of course deny that they're doing that. So it's unclear how serious? National security threat really is, but if you are worried about that, the deal that was proposed by Oracle, mom writes probably not going to satisfy those fears, Oracle and Walmart I haven't heard much about Walmart earned during this process i. always thought it was Oracle versus Microsoft what what's the Walmart connection? Yeah. So it seems Kinda random two people but actually are calling Jason del Ray did a good piece on this showing how for Walmart it's all about competing with Amazon and They've they've been losing this battle right for years with Amazon growing to be at the bigger and bigger commerce platform leader, and so for Walmart. This is a way to get in on something new and exciting and hot, and for one's not just be kind of like the slower bigger Guy you know falling behind the the younger. Lean Amazon but instead now it's like, Hey, we were in social media. We're doing something. Cool. We have younger potential market share here younger is. Valuable data potentially right from the the hundred million US users who use TIKTOK andrine. Last thing when we step back from this whether the deal happens or not has the last week sort of raised any questions about just how involved the trump administration is going to be in business deals like this and just how unusual it will prove to be. Completely and that's a great question because look the president of the US does have a lot of authority to issue sanctions and it's not just trump presidents many many many administrations have issued wide ranging bans on trade with certain countries or certain sectors because of national security issues think about sanctions on Iran or you know sanctions on the Soviet Union during the cold. War, right. That's normal. But usually something that's done systematically across a wide range of companies and industries. What is so different about what's happening here? What worries people? is how it seems targeted at one or in this case to companies talk and we chat and how the whole process has been haphazard confusing trump is reversed his positions many times. He says things that are totally beyond the pale in terms of not normal procedure is like saying that the buyer of Tiktok should essentially bribe the US government and pay an extra kick back to the Treasury Department and he actually has in this current deal. Oracle has proposed is giving five billion Oracle Walmart toward an Education Fund. That the US government will set up which and education fund might sound fine but it's it's unprecedented and very worrying from a kind of corruption point of view for a president to be able to to ask for one off kickbacks here and there and set up funds to his liking to do things that he wants to do, which in this case teach patriotic American values it's strange. It is worrisome and that is what is different about this.