Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 03, 2020

Trump Presses Microsoft, TikTok Into A Deal That Neither Wants - Who Profits From It?

The Trump administration is working to dispossess the Chinese company ByteDance by blackmailing it to sell its valuable TikTok business to a U.S. company for a bargain price. This to the benefit of yet unknown people.

False allegation over the security of TikTok user data were used to threaten the prohibition of the video app in its U.S. market. In the U.S. alone the app is used by more than 80 million people. It plays an important part in the youth culture and music business. Faced with a potential close down of its prime business in one of its most profitable markets ByteDance had no choice but to agree to negotiate about a sale.

ByteDance declined an offer by two of its U.S. based minority investors to buy the business for $50 billion as that price was far below its presumed value. The White House stepped in to find a new buyer with enough change to pay for a deal. As the largest social media companies - Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter - are already under congressional investigations for their monopoly positions in U.S. markets none of them could be the potential buyer. Facebook has in fact just launched a rip-off of the TikTok product under the name Reels. It is trying to poach TikTok 'creators' for its own service. Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg has warned of Chinese competition. He  would be the biggest winner should TikTok be thrown out of the U.S. market.

The White House finally came up with Microsoft as a potential buyer. But Microsoft has historically been unsuccessful in the social media business. It also does other business with China and is reluctant to get involved in a move that could damage that business.

Despite Microsoft's lack of interest President Trump personally pressed for a shotgun marriage. The Democrats are supporting him in this. But neither ByteDance nor Microsoft really want to make the deal.

ByteDance would prefer to move the TikTok business into an independent company:

TikTok could become totally independent from its Chinese owner ByteDance to continue operating overseas, according to a source who has been briefed on the discussions.

But the source said that despite reports that the video-sharing platform would be taken over by Microsoft, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming and investors were reluctant to sell to the US company.
[I]f it is able to continue operating in the US, the board of ByteDance will agree to a complete spin-off for the overseas version of the app, which operates under the name Douyin in China.

The new entity would keep the TikTok name, but will have different management and will no longer answer to ByteDance.

“Except for Zhang Yiming, almost all those in the room favour such a spin-off,” the source said. “The mood is kind of: ‘the founder will be out and the house will be ours’.

“But even for Zhang himself, there’s really no other option because the app will be killed if you don’t let it go.”

The spin-off would cover all markets except China where a ByteDance owned app similar to TikTok is run under the name Douyin. A sale to Microsoft would only include the markets in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. (Note that Britain is the only member of the 5-eyes club missing here.)

That Microsoft is not really wanting the deal can be gleaned for the convoluted statement it issued yesterday. This is clearly unprecedented language in a public company's  communication:

Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.

Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.

Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.

The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.
Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.

This ass kissing of Trump is not what Microsoft is used to do. Satva Nadella was clearly pressed into publishing this. Such a statement would usually include language about increasing shareholder value or better user experience. This statement has none of that standard sweet talk.

The stock market seems to believe that a takeover of TikTok would be profitable for Microsoft:


I have my doubts that Microsoft can successfully run a social network business. This one would be restricted to just four countries and it would likely lose access to the continuing development of the app. Where is the potential growth for such a restricted application?

And how will China react if Microsoft takes part in the U.S. raid of ByteDance's business? While China is only contributing some 2% to Microsoft's overall revenue the company's biggest R&D center outside of the U.S. is in China. It contributes to its global success:

“[There has been an] explosion of innovation in China,” [Microsoft President Brad] Smith said. “One of the things that we at Microsoft have long appreciated is the enormous ingenuity of the engineering population of China.”

Microsoft's X-Box game station as well as other hardware it sells is at least partially developed and produced in China. Some of Microsoft's Chinese engineers might have there own ideas on how China should retaliate to the attack on a successful Chinese company. The Trump administration sees that danger and it is pressing Microsoft to get rid of all its relations with China:

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggested on Monday that Microsoft could divest its holdings in China if it were to buy TikTok.

“So the question is, is Microsoft going to be compromised?” Navarro said in an interview with CNN. “Maybe Microsoft could divest its Chinese holdings?”

Leaving China would surely damage Microsoft's long term business. For a global company that country is a too big potential market to be left at the wayside.

But the real question about the mafia raid on ByteDance is who is destined to profit from it.

Today Trump said (vid) that if Microsoft closes the deal a substantial amount should be paid to the Treasury because his administration 'enabled the deal'. He likely didn't consult a lawyer before making that wrongheaded statement.

But who are the "other American investors" who are invited "to participate on a minority basis in this purchase". Reuters had already reported that 'minority investor' clause. Is the wider Trump family involved in this?

Why is that term so important for Trump that Microsoft has felt a need to repeat it in what is essentially a public terms letter addressed to Trump?

Posted by b on August 3, 2020 at 17:47 UTC | Permalink


I know B says this is about stealing, but maybe this is about sending China a message about how it does business in general. As you should know by now, China disallows many American apps in China. Is this a message to China about how America and maybe American allies will do business with them from now on? First Huawei and now Tik Tok and next who knows what? It looks to me like the message to China is: Follow the Golden Rule, which is not "whoever has the most gold rules" but is instead "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 17:57 utc | 1

Hey Kali, China DOES NOT need the US but what you are seeing is a violation of business norms. You say China doesn't allow many apps from entering its market is not the same as the US trying to blackmail a successful Chinese app that have already entered the US market. Since you mentioned Huawei; they own almost the entire 5G technology so either you pay directly or indirectly irregardless if the US bans them or not

Posted by: OJs_White_Bronco | Aug 3 2020 18:09 utc | 2

I was speculating just a day or two ago that Trump must be working to get himself or one of his offspring a piece of that pie. (Well that does seem to be a common MO with Trump.)

Meanwhile Pompeo threatens to outlaw a large number of Chinese "apps". Are they even talking to each other now?

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 3 2020 18:17 utc | 3

You're authoritarian so we'll be authoritarian too! Genius. /s

Posted by: mesmo | Aug 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4

thanks b... pardon me for saying this, but how much of this is about controlling a company - in this instance tik tok? it was the event at the rally in tulsa where tiktok users gave the trump election rally a jolt by giving it the impression there were going to be a lot of people at the rally, when it fact it bombed.. the reason it bombed was thanks tik tok users.... the usa can't have this happening on their own soil.. it is okay for colour revolutions on others soil, but not on usa soil... everything must be run thru the NSA- CIA.. compliance is assured with fb, twitter, google,amazon, microsoft and etc. etc. but it isn't assured with social media that the usa- nsa has no control over... thus the need to screw with tik tok, just like huawei is about control of the narratives...

frankly, i can't see it working out and as @ 2 ojs wb points out - it is a violation of business norms.... usa-nsa-cia wants to control the narrative is what it looks like to me.. in order for them to do that, the corporation has to be run by usa-friendly multinational corporations where the usa can spy or dictate as the need may be...

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2020 18:20 utc | 5

if US companies aren't allowed to ignore China's rules for business in China, then Chinese companies that follow US rules in the US won't be allowed to succeed. It's the white supremacist way.

Posted by: mijj | Aug 3 2020 18:25 utc | 6

I don't know who's going to benefit from this, but I know they have an army of ideologues working for them:

There’s a Deal to Save TikTok — if Trump Doesn’t Mess It Up: Microsoft wants to buy the Chinese app, and the administration needs to get out of the way

As I wrote in a column about using a burner phone when I enjoy TikTok, Trump and other tech executives, like Mr. Zuckerberg, are right to say that China and the country’s tech companies threaten American users when it comes to security, data and, more important, influence and propaganda.


Such pressure is obviously best used to force a sale, as was done with the gay dating service Grindr, to a United States company. And that’s why the Microsoft deal to acquire TikTok makes a lot of sense. With its strong tech security chops, Microsoft is one of the handful of U.S. companies with experience in managing big and complex platforms (besides the massive Windows and Office franchises, the company also owns LinkedIn, Skype and Minecraft).

While there are other American tech giants — Amazon and Apple spring to mind — that could also take on the Chinese security threat, a Microsoft-owned TikTok could also create a healthy and suspicion-free rival to Facebook in the social media space. And Microsoft would fix security issues quicker than taking TikTok public as a U.S. company.

“They should take the Microsoft deal,” Mr. Stamos noted. “It’s the best outcome for the United States, as Microsoft has one of the best security teams in tech, as it prevents a fight over the basic freedom of Americans to use the open Web.”

And, as a bonus:

“The Trump administration needs to look at the next move,” said Alex Stamos, who used to be in charge of stopping foreign incursions at both Facebook and Yahoo and now is director of the Stanford Internet Observatory. “They can block economic activity by TikTok in the U.S., but we fortunately don’t have a Great Firewall in this country. If they push too hard, ByteDance can focus on providing TikTok as a side-loaded Android app and a mobile website, both of which would be impossible for Trump to block.”

Let me translate Mr. Stamos’ geekspeak: If there’s a will to make a TikTok dance video go viral, there’s a way.

And that’s why the United States should support an open internet that touts democratic values using sophisticated strategy, smart policy and large investments in research and innovation, as well as some well-placed cudgels.




Let’s Scrap the Presidential Debates: They’ve become unrevealing quip contests

Signed by Elizabeth Drew, "a journalist based in Washington".

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the modern Western journalist.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 18:27 utc | 7

@ Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 17:57 utc | 1

The difference here is that the American companies can't enter the Chinese market because they openly refuse to abide to Chinese Law (i.e. they want imperial powers), while the Chinese companies fully operate in conformation to American Law (including, as is the case, TikTok).

Besides, the West is the one which put the weight of the moral high ground upon itself (Rule of Law, Human Rights, Freedom, etc. etc.), so it is their onus to prove this stance to be geopolitically superior, not China (or, for that matter, Iran, Russia...).

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 18:31 utc | 8

@7 vk

Hilarious. No matter the year or era we find ourselves in, the in-person debate btw candidates is one of the purest and most honest ways that voters can gauge their candidates.

I know Derrida wrote about writing and how speaking in person is the priveleged mode of expression in our world, but we can not be sure that the candidate is the one who actually writes their pieces or who actually truly feels these words.

Here we are again: MSM bias favoring the pure-globalist candidate. It's not surprising.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 3 2020 18:48 utc | 9

Facebook at one time was operating in China. In 2008-2009 terrorists were using Facebook to coordinate attacks in Xinjiang province. When the Chinese government demanded the information Facebook declined to provide citing privacy issues. After that Facebook was banned.

Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 3 2020 18:50 utc | 10

@OJs_White_Bronco & @vk

Maybe China keeps many apps out of China because they can't control the information?
For example Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google--maybe they want complete control over what their populations hear or says online? Or maybe it is about cornering the market in China for the same type of apps for Chinese oligarchs? Maybe their reluctance to allow non-CCP approved apps in their market is getting some pushback from America's oligarchy? OR, maybe this is about Tik Tok being so big. I mean Twitter, Google, Youtube, Facebook and so on, ALL ACT AS POLITICAL CENSORS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN THE FIVE EYES CABAL. With Tik Tok, maybe the Republicans want a huge social media app to be under their political control also? Or maybe Trump is being used by the DEEP STATE to place Tik Tok under the same censorship agenda of the other Tech Giants? Or is this as I originally speculated, all about trying to open China up?

Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 18:52 utc | 11

Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 18:52 utc | 11

"For example Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google--maybe they want complete control over what their populations hear or says online?"

If that's the case why is it not illegal in China to have a VPN? How many strawmen are in that diatribe you just posted? I can only knock down one at a time.

Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 3 2020 18:58 utc | 12

pardon my ignorance, but why not just pull the app from the US market and let US kids suffer and make Trump look even worse? why cave in and sell?

Posted by: Prof K | Aug 3 2020 18:58 utc | 13

@ 11 kali... that is kind of what i am getting at @5... seems like control thru the intel agencies is the game in play.. ''you let us control it, or you don't get to play in this market'' kind of thinking.. obviously the cia version in the ccp doesn't work with the cia....if they did, it would be different...

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2020 18:59 utc | 14

Is the dispute over Tik-Tok really about protecting American citizens?

Non-US companies collect a lot of info about US citizens and citizens of other Western countries via internet apps and other means. And much info is available for sale as well.

Seems more likely that the forced sale is really about protecting the Western establishment and US power-elite. A massive social network is a threat to their control because it could be used to spread anti-US govt messages. Mostly to younger people who are already very cynical (as we can see from the protesting) and thus more willing to accept it as true or reflecting a truth.

Trump impersonator Sarah Cooper got started on TikTok.

Although Sarah's comedy is not a threat to the US power-elite, one can easily imagine messaging that would be:

  • USA threatens war against a country and suddenly everyone in USA gets messages that depict Trump/USA as a bully and that create sympathy for the good people of the target country.

  • Messaging that decries the harsh and unfair treatment of political prisoners (Assange?);
  • Messaging that calls into question the legitimacy of a US Presidential election.
  • Messages that mock Trump's blaming China for the pandemic by describing the Trump Administration's inept response to the pandemic.

<> <> <> <> <>

PS Where's the libertarian mob complaining about government control? Those astro-turfed bullsh*ters are not really interested in issues that they are not paid to be interested in.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2020 19:01 utc | 15

@ Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 18:52 utc | 11

As you well stated, this "power struggle" argument can be used for any circumstances. We must be more specific if we want to extract useful information.

As of now, the information is that: so far, foreign companies that agree to obey Chinese Law and regulations can operate there normally and without problem, while the same is not true anymore for the USA.

We live in a Nation-State world. Nations are sovereign, and have the right to set up their own regulations and write their own laws. It is the USA, not China, which broke the international pact. There's absolutely no evidence China broke any international convention; the only "crime" it committed seems to be the fact that it is too successful.

Now, if you want to argue against the Nation-State system, then we would be in another discussion altogether.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2020 19:04 utc | 16

james @Aug3 18:20 #5

Tulsa rally

Yeah, exactly right.

A great example of people organizing on a non-US platform with an anti-establishment result: disrupting electioneering and embarrassing POTUS.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2020 19:08 utc | 17

Gee, seems the Chinese have a very different view of it all:

"As TikTok's global market influence was skyrocketing, the company was suppressed by the US government. Again, this shows how difficult it is for companies from China to go global. ByteDance said in a statement that it is "committed to becoming a global company." But Washington will not easily let the company off just because of its good wishes.

"The US' decoupling from China starts from killing China's most competitive companies. In the process, Washington ignores rules and is unreasonable. Although suppressing Huawei and TikTok also incurs losses to the US, the suppression can still be implemented in the US. This is because such suppression echoes the sense of crisis instigated by some US elites when facing China's rise.

"Huawei and ByteDance can only provide limited protection to themselves via legal means. But we should not overestimate the US' sense of justice. The country has shown us too many examples of politics overwhelming everything else....

"Huawei has advanced equipment, and ByteDance sells services to the world through unique concepts and technologies. The two companies are pioneers worldwide. They have brought a sense of crisis to US elites, which shows that China's top companies have the ability to move to the forefront of the world in technology. It reflects the power of China as an emerging market. As long as such power continues to expand, these top Chinese companies can eventually break through US suppression.

"By banning Huawei, the US would lag behind in 5G technology. By banning TikTok, the US would harm its own internet diversity and its belief in freedom and democracy. When similar things happen time and again, the US will take steps closer to its decline. The US is a pioneer in global internet and has created Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But in recent years, the US' internet structure has been rigid.

"Rising stars such as ByteDance continue to emerge in Chinese internet sector, showing huge vitality. China knows its deficiencies, strives to become stronger, and adheres to opening-up to the world. The US, however, is gradually being shrouded in arrogance, seclusion and a negative attitude. Chinese people should not be discouraged by temporary setbacks, or our weaker position in the China-US confrontation. What's important is that China's trend of faster-pace progress has not changed....

"The COVID-19 pandemic is an important issue, clearly showing us that the US has fallen into a type of systematic chaos. This will severely limit its ability to indefinitely upgrade and exert pressure on China. Many of the US practices, including banning TikTok, show the country's weakening competitiveness. Can't Facebook just come up with a more powerful app and beat TikTok in the market? The problem is Facebook cannot do it. It can only resort to the brute force of US politics."

As you read, China takes this very differently. It sees the inability of Outlaw US Empire firms to compete and thus seek protection as suggested here:

"Western countries' social media platforms have long dominated, and only a handful of Chinese firms that have entered the arena in recent years have won popularity. TikTok has seen record-high downloads across the world. Per data from an industry analysis platform Sensor Tower in April, TikTok had been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally.

"The US' plan to ban TikTok follows the same logic as its crackdown on Chinese tech firm Huawei. The US has been limiting the 5G frontrunner for years, essentially the result of evolving relations between China and the US-led Western world.

"TikTok and Huawei are not isolated cases. Chinese high-tech firms that expand overseas will encounter different levels of barriers as China develops into a new tech power, giving rise to concerns from countries that feel threatened by Chinese technology.

"The US will not allow a social media platform that enjoys high popularity among younger generations to be operated by a foreign company, especially when the countdown to its presidential election ticks on. Banning TikTok now is, to some extent, also a move by Trump to control public voices after groups of young American TikTok users reportedly upstaged his first large-scale public rally amid the COVID-19 pandemic by registering for tickets and failing to attend.

"With the election drawing near, a plunging second-quarter GDP at negative 32.9 percent, and the world's largest number of coronavirus infections, it is likely the Trump administration will continue rolling out new and even harsher measures to antagonize China and attempt to block it economically." [My Emphasis]

How much revenge and the election play into the drama are unknown, but we know Trump is soft-skinned and very vindictive; Tulsa was a huge embarrassment. Can't compete; erect a tariff wall to protect your weak companies--the Outlaw US Empire demands China "open up" while it closes up instead. As the headline of the first item screamed, "Banning TikTok reflects Washington’s cowardice."

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 19:15 utc | 18

They should let it die with honor so they don't have to live in shame.

Posted by: Thordoom | Aug 3 2020 19:17 utc | 19

vk @ 16 says: "so far, foreign companies that agree to obey Chinese Law and regulations can operate there normally and without problem, while the same is not true anymore for the USA."

Precisely. Every country in the world (including US) has its own national security laws and regulations. Companies like Microsoft, Oracle, SAP that obey Chinese laws/regulations are operating fine in China. Companies like Google and Facebook DECIDED TO QUIT China because they don't want to obey Chinese laws/regulations.

However, these lies about "Chinese banning US software", like the lies about "Chinese forced tech transfer", have been repeated over 1000 times - they are now almost the "truth" in the minds of many, as per Joseph Goebbels: “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told 1000 times becomes the truth.”

Posted by: d dan | Aug 3 2020 19:27 utc | 20

All I can see in this story is Trump 'helping' the USG/Biz nexus to thoroughly discredit itself as totally untrustworthy & utterly incapable of sticking to ANY deal, Biz or Political.
It's sub-moronic. But I like it :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 3 2020 19:37 utc | 21

Gotta love the stupid Western capitalists.
First, it was "Let's all invest in China, do a lot of business and move all our factories there because we'll make a shit-ton of $$".
Then, it's "Oh, they're too big and powerful, we need to stop trading and making any kind of business with them".
As some clever guy said about these short-sighted idiots more than a century ago, they're selling the rope with which to hang them.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 3 2020 19:37 utc | 22

@ 17 jackrabbit.. the upside for the usa-cia- nsa here is they can blame china, just like they have been blaming russia for russiagate, the losts clinton e mails, skripal and lord know how many other bullshit stories... now they can use this against china claiming tiktok is china... welp, that is one possible upside for the cia-usa here.. ultimately it is all downside though, lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2020 19:40 utc | 23

Yeah, this is all about control over censorship. Facebook, twitter, google, youtube, they have all been very busy downranking, blacklisting, shadowbanning or even outright deleting dissident content and accounts.

James correctly points out that a bunch of these malcontents even caused palpable embarrasment for the system. That's scary for them. They operate a Ministry of Propaganda that has untold billions sloshing through its troughs and veins, yet can be derailed by a few minutes of rogue content going viral.

PS did anyone notice how they placed a sentence with the word "Microsoft" right next to a sentence with the words "complete security review"? Could this be coded language to indicate that the proposition is fundamentally unrealistic?

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 3 2020 19:42 utc | 24

The fact that the CEO of Microsoft had to spend any time at all listening to that gibbering shitgibbon-in-chief is bad enough, but to have to in addition issue a groveling nonsensical public statement like that is beyond pathetic.

The entire episode reveals gross hypocrisy, rampant corruption, weakness and a willingness for the US government to engage in censorship.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Aug 3 2020 19:50 utc | 25

In this Sputnik analysis, Philip Giraldi and Paul Craig Roberts offer their take on the Anti-China escalation of which the TikTok affair is the newest act. They contend that Trump's actions are the result of Outlaw US Empire weakness in numerous areas that predate COVID and are now more obvious thanks to Trump's continuing gross ineptitude over that crisis. The economic hemorrhaging will continue apace until the election and beyond thus bringing the Dollar Crisis into focus much sooner as Crooke relates here:

"Bubbles are one factor, but there are also signs of the tectonic plates drifting apart in a different way, but no less threatening. Bankers Goldman Sachs sits at the very heart of the western financial system – and incidentally staffs much of Team Trump, as well as the Federal Reserve.

"And Goldman wrote something this week that one might not expect from such a system stalwart: Its commodity strategist Jeffrey Currie, wrote that [Link at original] 'real concerns around the longevity of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency have started to emerge'.

"What? Goldman says the dollar might lose its reserve currency status. Unthinkable? Well that would be the standard view. Dollar hegemony and sanctions have long been seen as Washington’s stranglehold on the world through which to preserve U.S. primacy. America’s ‘hidden war’, as it were. Trump clearly views the dollar as the bludgeon that can make America Great Again. Furthermore, as Trump and Mnuchin – and now Congress – have taken control of the Treasury arsenal, the roll-out of new sanctions bludgeoning has turned into a deluge....

"And this week, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations issued a paper entitled: It is Time to Abandon Dollar Hegemony. [Link at original]

"That, we repeat, is the globalist line. The CFR has been a progenitor of both the European and Davos projects. It is not Trump’s. He is fighting to keep America as the seat of western power, and not to accede that role to Merkel’s European project – or to China.

"So why would Goldman Sachs say such a thing? Attend carefully to Goldman’s framing: It is not the Davos line. Instead, Currie writes that the soaring disconnect between spiking gold price and a weakening dollar 'is being driven by a potential shift in the U.S. Fed towards an inflationary bias, against a backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions, elevated U.S. domestic political and social uncertainty, and a growing second wave of covid-19 related infections'.

"Translation: It is about U.S. explosive debt accumulation, on account of the Coronavirus lockdown. In a world where there is already over $100 trillion in dollar-denominated debt, on which the U.S. cannot default; nor will it ever be repaid. It can therefore only be inflated away. That is to say the debt can only be managed through debasing the currency. (Debt jubilees are viewed as beyond the pale.)

"That is to say, Goldman’s man says dollar debasement is firmly on the Fed agenda. And that means that 'real concerns around the longevity of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency, have started to emerge'.

"It is a nuanced message: It hints that the monetary experiment, which began in 1971, is ending. Currie is telling U.S. that the U.S. is no longer able to manage an economy with this much debt – simply by printing new currency, and with its hands tied on other options. The debt situation already is unprecedented – and the pandemic is accelerating the process.

"In short, things are starting to spin out of control, which is not the same as advocating a re-boot. And the debasement of money is inevitable. That’s why Currie points to the disconnect between the gold price (which usually governments like to repress), and a weakening dollar. If it is out of the Fed’s control, it is ultimately (post-November) out of Trump’s hands, too." [My Emphasis]

As Max Keiser reveled in last week, The Fiat Ponzi is finally ending, and with that will come a massive reshuffling--a Paradigm Change. Lots of smoke's being generated to cover the actual fire, wherein TrumpCo can be seen as the firemen in Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, burning the currency instead of books. And as Crooke notes, many other nations are tied to the Dollar's demise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 20:00 utc | 26

Kali @11: "...maybe they want complete control..."

Hysterical hyperbole much?

Child pornography is outlawed in the US. Businesses are not allowed to broadcast it, publish it, or host it on their servers. Clearly the government "wants complete control"!

China has laws. Just because a company doesn't agree with those laws doesn't mean that company can ignore them and still do business in China. Can a business open shop in the US and ignore America's laws? Of course not, so why should it be any different for doing business in China?

Try to imagine, for instance, the Russia-based social media platform being used by active terrorist cells murdering people in the USA. Now imagine the FBI gets a court order for to turn over those terrorists' communications so that the FBI can prevent the next head chopping spree by those terrorists in Times Square, but refuses to comply. Would you be OK with that? That is precisely what Facebook did in China, as One Too Many @10 pointed out. It is not even as if China's laws in this regard are so different from America's. After all, your communications online are monitored by the NSA, and even your posts here are data-mined by the CIA, the FBI, and even your local state police if they want to.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 3 2020 20:15 utc | 27

I guess im old now cuz i have no idea what tik tok is, its kids dancing what would the chinese want with that

Posted by: Bob | Aug 3 2020 20:22 utc | 28

how America and maybe American allies will do business with them from now on?

You sound veeery very brainwashed. The US does not have allies. It does have servants though.

There is no such thing as "America". This is very supremacist type of thinking. Isn't Latin America America too?

You can use the words "US America" and "US American allies" instead, as they are much more accurate. There is US America, there is South America, there is Latin America, there is North America, and US america is only a part of that.

You are not "american" either, but only a "US american".

Follow the Golden Rule

Now that you are mentioning the Golden Rule, the US stole trillions of dollars from the rest of the world via the dollar reserve currency status and money printing.

Maybe the US can start from returning all of what it stole to the world?

And what business does the US have trying to bully the rest of the world about whith whom they can trade and with whom they can't?

When will the US compensate all those countries it bullied to use more expensive and still not ready to use 5G equipment?

Any conversation on trade policy and "reciprocity" must start from US parasitism upon the world and returning the trillions it stole to all the countries of the world.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 3 2020 20:24 utc | 29

Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 17:57 utc | 1

how America and maybe American allies will do business with them from now on?

You sound veeery very brainwashed. The US does not have allies. It does have servants though.

There is no such thing as "America". This is very supremacist type of thinking. Isn't Latin America America too?

You can use the words "US America" and "US American allies" instead, as they are much more accurate. There is US America, there is South America, there is Latin America, there is North America, and US america is only a part of that.

You are not "american" either, but only a "US american".

Follow the Golden Rule

Now that you are mentioning the Golden Rule, the US stole trillions of dollars from the rest of the world via the dollar reserve currency status and money printing.

Maybe the US can start from returning all of what it stole to the world?

And what business does the US have trying to bully the rest of the world about whith whom they can trade and with whom they can't?

When will the US compensate all those countries it bullied to use more expensive and still not ready to use 5G equipment?

Any conversation on trade policy and "reciprocity" must start from US parasitism upon the world and returning the trillions it stole to all the countries of the world.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 3 2020 20:25 utc | 30


Re Crooke's piece. "But investing in apartments is absolutely king! 96% of urban Chinese own more than one"
This does not match with anything else I have read on China. I followed up the links for this, Crooke's link goes to ZeroHedge, which in turn links to an earlier zerohedge piece.

This from the earlier zerohedge piece (March 2017) "A couple of research reports released overnight by Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, respectively, come to a sobering conclusion: the fate of the global economy may be in the hands of the Chinese housing bubble. As a reminder, China is a serial bubble inflator courtesy of a closed (capital account) economy, and nearly $30 trillion in bank deposits which slosh from one asset class to another, be it the stock market, bitcoin, commodities, farm animals or - most often - housing."

I suspect that the likes of Russia and China would be taking some steps to insulate themselves from the demise of the dollar.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 20:50 utc | 31

re: TikTok vs Trump, @18 karlof1

Banning TikTok [...] a move by Trump to control public voices after groups of young American TikTok users reportedly upstaged his first large-scale public rally [...] registering for tickets and failing to attend

Hahaha, yeah there was that, wasn't there? File it under "election-meddling", then. Neeext!

Posted by: ptb | Aug 3 2020 21:07 utc | 32

karlof1 @18 highlights the true nature of the empire's panic over TikTok and Huawei. From the perspective of American businesses these organizations appeared from nowhere and burst into leading positions.

But these are just two companies in a mammoth and flourishing Chinese economy. China graduates 4.7 million scientists and engineers each year to America's half million, but more than half of America's half million are foreign students who have not been feeling very welcome or safe in America lately. Even America's pay scale for STEM grads isn't as generous as it used to be.

‘China rocks!’ — the U.S., not so much, according to Elon Musk. "China rocks, in my opinion. The energy in China is great... there’s like a lot of smart, hard working people. And they’re really — they’re not entitled, they’re not complacent."

"... the energy..."

If you have been to China in the last decade or more and touched the pulse of the nation then you would know exactly what Musk is talking about. The energy and optimism there is palpable. Just mixing with the people there is like getting a jolt of pure oxygen or mainlining adrenaline. Working with Chinese students on the mainland can make an American instructor a bit giddy.

That same instructor's return to work with American students would be gut-wrenching. High school kids who cannot do basic arithmetic without a calculator, and who lack the self-discipline, focus, and attention span to complete simple assignments. They protest that at least they have imaginations, as if the Chinese kids don't. And even if American kids did have super-powered imaginations, what good is that if they don't have the skills, motivation, and the grounding in reality to bring what they imagine into the real world? Classrooms full of children all with movies running in their heads that they would produce and direct if they each had a $100 million, but ultimately those movies would all just be remakes and sequels of what we've already seen.

People who have been to China and sensed this difference, like Musk obviously has, know that the empire has already lost the war it declared against China. Americans are not going to wake up tomorrow with the motivation to do what they need to do to fix things. They can't. They don't have the energy. Huawei and TikTok are just the tip of the iceberg; the leading edge of the avalanche; the bright and enthusiastic heralds of America's demise. It doesn't matter if Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and America's hat close their borders to progress in sympathy with the USA's butthurt. China's progress will continue regardless, and those who think the tide of history can be shoveled back with teaspoons will get left behind.

The empire's battle with Tiktok illustrates the empire's pathetic and sad desperation.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 3 2020 21:17 utc | 33

Peter AU 1 @31--

As you read, I omitted that entire bit of Crooke's article as the Massive Bubbles aren't in Asia, but in North America. When will interest compound to the point where the Fed can no longer print money fast enough to cover, or has that point already been reached?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 21:34 utc | 34

@karlof1 26
The strategic culture piece is fascinating. A lot of big ideas. Though frankly what comes out of Davos is bullshit. 1st class and refined, to be sure, but nevertheless 100% organic Alpine grass-fed bullshit. "4IR" as a qualitatively new categorization of technological development is well and fine, but the displacement of labor and the political fallout from it is not qualitatively new in the slightest -- the exact same things happened in 1IR, 2IR, and 3IR, populist movements, reshuffling of global power, panic among the elite due to uncertainty about the new pecking order, all resolved in the usual manner.

The implication of a shift in power from US to EU, which I find a refreshing idea, invites some skeptical questions. Here is an out of context quote (again, to be clear, I certainly thank you for linking the article which has so much food for thought, and encourage others to read the piece!)

The EU is the ideal vehicle for building a new 4IR aristocratic oligarchy. Such a construct, in fact, has always been latent within the EU project, as Ambrose Pritchard–Evans noted, whereas the U.S. – as these Davos enablers imagine it – is not. U.S. legal and cultural structures are antithetical. But the corollary of such assessment is plain: Europe is destined, in this view, as the centre of western power. And the U.S. loses it.

But in practice, the EU political structures are very fragile, especially with the demise of the traditional socdem-vs-libdem pairing in most of the countries. As a result, actions by the quasi-governmetal / supranational parts of EU are fairly easy to block (with the double majority rules etc). The refugee crisis and financial crisis both showed just how the system is dominated by veto powers. This matters because in the US, the "respectable business friendly nationalists", i.e. lets confine ourselves to the subset who are considered worthy of conversation by CFR/Brookings etc, they're not stupid (neither are many of the more aggressive ones by the way), and have it as a very high priority to shut down EU geopolitical consolidation. I personally think they will succeed at this for far longer than the parallel project of shutting down the consolidation along lines of China-belt-road.

More than anything else, I am skeptical that US business elite would ever sign on to a project that removes dollar hegemony -- the one thing that puts US elites socially on par with their west-European counterparts, who would otherwise look down their nose at them.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 3 2020 21:45 utc | 35

Oh it looks like I copied that quote out of the previous piece in the series (below), but I think it remains central
fork in the road [Crooke / strategic culture]

Posted by: ptb | Aug 3 2020 21:50 utc | 36

karlof1 34

Rather than interest alone, the tipping point will be reached when a large enough number lose faith in the US dollar.
Andrei Martyanov believes military power is a big part of this. As US military power slips, so to will faith in the US$.
The sudden decoupling from the US will create a few headaches for China, but so long as the average person in China is aware of US methods and intents, their anger will be against the US rather than their government.
Couple that to William Gruff's @33 take on the Chinese mindset....
As for the US and predictions on its demise, anything can happen. The moves it is making ... desperation, irrational and/or ad hoc, no long term plan ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 22:11 utc | 37

William Gruff @33--

Thanks for your expansion on the points raised. I think there's another factor in play that I read in Global Times articles--the reverence China and its people once had for the USA that's in the process of being destroyed by Trump's vindictiveness and that of others, which as I see it results from the Outlaw US Empire's Zero-sum ethos versus the collectivist Win-Win vision of China and elsewhere. That trend didn't begin with Trump but with Bill Clinton--China's development had to be on terms okayed by the Empire, but few Western-based corps were initially willing to play by externally imposed rules as they correctly saw that China would eventually develop its own business norms and law and not become a Kleptocracy like Yeltsin's Russia. But what nobody saw coming was the efficiency of China's government and its political-economic system as that's the engine driving everything else. And since it can't compete with China's system, the only recourse the Outlaw US Empire has is to demonize it, although that doesn't do anything to retard China's progress.

A few weeks ago I opined China doesn't need the USA's market to continue its growth and meet its development goals. Sure, it would like to have access to that market, but not on unfavorable terms--even neutral terms would suffice, but such terms are never sought by the Empire. On the other hand however, the Outlaw US Empire must have access to China's market since it shipped much of its strategic industry there and finds it can't reasonably reverse the process. That's what happens when the quality of people running things is reduced to the likes of a Mnuchin, Pompeo, Trump, Navarro, and the equally incompetent ones that preceded them. It seemingly can be reduced to the types of vision/goal sought--GHW Bush and his ilk wanted a Pax Americana Globe-girdling Military Empire based on force: the Rule of the Gun. China's vision was and remains the opposite--a meritocratic collective of cooperating nations attempting to improve the lot of their peoples: the Rule of Logic, Wisdom & Love. As a national leader observing this spectacle, which side would you join freely?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 22:12 utc | 38

China accounts for 2% of Microsofts global sales. Its President recently said “It’s not hard to find Microsoft software in China and even in Chinese government institutions. It’s a lot harder to find Microsoft software that Microsoft has been paid for,”

While China may be its largest R&D due to engineers are cheaper, Israels R&D center is arguably its most important. Microsoft is in the intelligence business working closely with Israel and US intelligence agencies hiring many Unit 8200 members .

Microsoft was awarded the 10 billion dollar JEDI defense cloud contract last year that is currently under review. Nadella once ran the Azure business, among other responsibilities in his 27-year career at Microsoft. He has made cloud a bigger piece of Microsoft while decreasing the emphasis on Windows. Growing the cloud business is a priority. I doubt he wants TikTok for business but he can spin it off in a couple of years and wants to keep his bosses in US/Israel happy. Tik Tok gives the Intelligence Community more data to play with and targets a younger crowd to boot. Microsoft will share all as always.

Microsoft is also playing a lead on Protect Democracy (sardonically named) starting with Newsguard and currently working on Electionguard which will allow IC to control election results. Electionguard running a bit behind so they might want to delay the elections until they can roll it out

Big Tech and Big Government are interlocked partners. Who do you think is buying Big Techs data and pushing the 4th IR with its tech dependance on AI, 5G, IoT thats going to pay off Big for Tech and the IC Mafia and total government control of the people

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Aug 3 2020 22:40 utc | 39

Ocurr to me some questions...may be unconnected...or may be not...

If the dollar as reserve currency is about to fall, would not be interesting to control all social media for when the skies are falling, so that people, especially young ( as they are those with the energy to protest )can not communicate with each other as usual ( I mean as fast...)? Shutting all social media down would equate a shutting down of the internet, something Daniel Estulin is advancing will happen when the bankrupt is too obvious, amongst many other events which go materializing as time goes, as the rising price of gold...A shutting down of the internet would deprive people from access to their bank accounts/ pension funds...but also basic services...

Has this seizing of a communications company to do with the bad numbers of Trump amongst the youngest generations, and thus the necessity to shut them down till November?

Where in this scenario fits Gates leaving the board of Microsoft and selling all his shares there, happening all this in the first times of the pandemic, in this prospect of Microsoft leading the shutting down of the internet, as it constitutes itself, along the other IT giants, as US government security network in the open?

How all this is related to the pandemic and to the post-pandemic world?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 3 2020 22:42 utc | 40


Taking control of media has been a big thing for the US post Vietnam. UK and Australia have both in the last week or so brought in new laws relating to 'security' and treason and so forth. Very much secret police state with powers to grab anyone anywhere and hold them for a number of days without lawyers, and without the need for an official arrest or charges to be laid.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 3 2020 22:52 utc | 41

Is China behind the "Witch Hunt" Trump constantly decries? Trump just got another surprise, Will Trump share Capone's fate?

"Other observers noted that it was the demand by Trump's own lawyers, in addition to aspects of how the Supreme Court ruled on the previous challenge, that likely compelled the District Attorney's office in New York to make it more clear that their ongoing investigation is much broader in scope and potentially must more serious."

And how will that investigation affect his Global Trade War?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 3 2020 23:07 utc | 42

re: dollar reserve currency, CFR and many articles questioning sustainability,
connection to geopolitical

On the other hand however, the Outlaw US Empire must have access to China's market since it shipped much of its strategic industry there and finds it can't reasonably reverse the process.

this is the connection... can't reasonably reverse offshoring of application's industry, yet it must be done. Per the CFR article earlier, this feat necessitates capital controls for the US. That is the subject they are broaching.

Obv. not unilaterally giving up dollar power. IMO, also not loss of ability to control exchange rates -- it's not a concern if there is the power to both print money and force everyone to accept it. Finally, also not the possibility of EU and/or non aligned economies migrating on their own initiative to IMF SDR's or Euro. But capital controls by the US itself, pretty soon maybe a necessary action for strategic reasons, that may have an effect on where global savings are parked.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 3 2020 23:24 utc | 43

typo... "offshoring of strategic* industry"

Posted by: ptb | Aug 3 2020 23:25 utc | 44


They are working hard on ramping up censorship. Eliminating encryption and rule 230 will give providers the means and motive to censor content before it gets posted

As for the rest see below. COVID was necessary to do a reset which has been planned for years

Digital ID, Central Bank Digital Currency (Libra), Social Credit Scores, Great Reset

2019- May 14, Microsoft announced plans to use the bitcoin blockchain to create a "digital identity" that could be used to access sites and apps across the internet

On 21 January 2020 the BIS announced that a group of central banks (Canada, UK, Japan, Sweden Switzerland and the ECB) will share experience as they assess the potential cases for central bank digital currency (CBDC) in their home jurisdictions.

The emergence of Bitcoin and other cryptoassets based on a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) opened the way to decentralized means of payment that are cross-border and outside the control of central banks. The main drawback of this type of tokens is their very high volatility.

To overcome this problem a new type of cryptoassets emerged, the so-called stablecoins, whose value is anchored in fiat money, commodities or an algorithm that defines their supply.

In 2019 Facebook put forward the idea of a stablecoin (Libra) that would facilitate cross-border payments among its users based on a basket of main currencies.

The Libra proposal has reignited the debate among central banks on whether they should consider issuing a type of CBDC. This idea had been circulating for several years, since the Bank of England published a seminal paper in 2016.

February 11, 2020- • Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell spoke before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services on Tuesday. He was questioned about the central bank’s digital currency efforts, Libra and China.

Powell said “we’re working hard on it” when asked about Fed progress. 

March 26, 2020 -March 26, 2020 -Microsoft patent filed 2019, published march 26, 2020.

Bill Gates leaves Microsoft Chairman in March 13, 2020 Bill Gates still owns 330 million Microsoft shares (1.3%)

WO2020-060606 -


Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user which is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user. Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.

May 20: Microsoft announced it has built a new supercomputer that will be used to train artificial intelligence models — meaning, develop new technology with human-like capacity.
Making humans out of machines: it’s been the dream of the mad A.I. scientists from day one

June 3 , 2020 via their website, the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) unveiled the outlines of their upcoming January 2021 forum. They call it “The Great Reset.” It entails taking advantage of the staggering impact of the coronavirus to advance a very specific agenda. Notably enough, that agenda dovetails perfectly with another specific agenda, namely the 2015 UN Agenda 2030.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Aug 3 2020 23:44 utc | 45

the US and the other anglo-imperialist powers just want to use TikTok as another surveillance platform. And at the same time, of course, cause some economic hardship and embrassment to China by raiding a very valuable piece of its international intellectual business property.

We can only look forward to some brilliant pay back-hit by the chinese down the road

(karlof1 has much useful info and insights above, too, thanks dude)

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 4 2020 0:21 utc | 46

As I mentioned in a previous thread, from an infosec viewpoint Tik-Tok is not significant. Whatever information China could glean from the app would be next to worthless from a national security viewpoint. And certainly in comparison with everything else going between the US and China with regards to intellectual property espionage, economic conflicts, military development and maneuvers, etc.

In short, China is not going to get the slightest security or espionage benefit from a bunch of teens running that app. As usual, Trump is lying about his motives and intentions. As Matthew Green, a cryptography expert, put it on Twitter yesterday, "it's beyond dumb." OTOH, as others here have said, the US can get some slight benefit from incorporating surveillance of the Tik-Tok platform in with all the other surveillance it does - although as I also pointed out earlier, the NSA already collects *everything* going over the Internet, which includes everything on Tik-Tok.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 4 2020 0:55 utc | 47

par for the course for the emperor with no clothes, they dont even bother to have any fig leaf for cover these day...

In case you forget,how GE took over its
greatest competitor, Alstom.

Posted by: denk | Aug 4 2020 3:52 utc | 48

Americans EXPLAIN the REAL reason the US hates China | Tiktok/Huawei ban predicted 5y ago

US-led cold war 2.0 EXPLAINED by American experts! The Truth is insane.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 4 2020 5:21 utc | 49

Intel’s chief executive Bob Swan yesterday told industry analysts that the former industry leader in chip manufacturing might quit the fabrication business altogether, outsourcing its designs to Taiwan or South Korea instead. The company’s shock announcement called into question US efforts to return critical manufacturing capacity to the United States, and came despite semiconductor industry lobbying to secure federal subsidies for chip production in the United States. Semiconductors are the building blocks of the digital economy, and America’s inability to slow the decline of onshore chip fabrication is a strategic liability of the highest order.

Swan’s demurral followed the announcement that Intel’s efforts to produce state-of-the-art 7-nanometer chips had hit a delay of one to two years. By that time Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung will be fabricating 5-nanometer chips, with much higher transistor density and lower energy use. Intel’s 10-nanometer technology has just come into production, three years after target, and is already obsolete. Once the industry leader, Intel lacks the engineering expertise to stay ahead of Asian competition.

Intel’s share price crashed by 17% after Swan’s warning that Intel may “need to use somebody else’s process technology.” Texas Instruments invented the integrated circuit in 1958 and Intel became the world’s largest chip manufacturer in 1992. But fabrication of chips has migrated to Asia, especially Taiwan, and the US share of semiconductor production fell to just 12% last year, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 4 2020 5:29 utc | 50

It's Pearl River all over again!

Why the US needs to launch a pre-emptive strike.

The window for preserving US economic and financial hegemony is closing rapidly, concertinaed by the pandemic. The IMF data released 24th June, which is continuously being revised, gives a 9% reduction in US GDP relative to China this year. In fact, that reduction could be nearer 20%, effectively ending the reign of the US economy as the world’s largest, when measured by $GDP.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 4 2020 5:38 utc | 51

China's $GDP temporarily overtakes the USA

Donald Trump’s credo appears to be: “not what I can do for the country but what the country can do for me and my family”. The result is ineptitude spiced with recklessness. In the face of the pandemic, this comical combination has toppled the USA from its perch as the world’s largest economy based on current $GDP. The drums of war grow louder, Tik Tok, Tik Tok, Tik Tok.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 4 2020 5:45 utc | 52

I like reading MoA, and hve been doing it for at least 5 years. I think b is good at finding stories that are ignored by the MSM, but that deserves exposing, no doubt about this. Hoe ever I also think that b focuses a lot on the US and their troubles, which is of course an editorial decision I understand. However, The US is a lost cause anyway and reporting on their next new insanity, in a way grows old, in a country ruled be retards and morons, the output from said country will be: Dadaae, moronic.
No news in that, of course the frequency of "moronic stories" appearing out of said failed state is breathtaking.

I do not know where b's audience is located, the US or Europe, but I do suspect that there are many stories hidden from view in both Europe and near Asia, that are worth an investigation. Do not get me wrong this is not a rant, but solely an expression of opinion.
ill of course continue to read and support MoA, as it is still one of the "go to" places of real and true news in existence.

Finally, many thanks to the majority of commenters here on MoA, always engaging in a civil and factional debate.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Aug 4 2020 6:03 utc | 53

I am sorry for missing characters and misspellings.

Posted by: d | Aug 4 2020 6:05 utc | 54

Trump stuns observers by openly soliciting payment to US Treasury for his ‘approval’ of TikTok sale

President Donald Trump says he is allowing Microsoft to purchase the U.S. assets of the popular Beijing-based TikTok social media video sharing app, in a sale Trump personally is forcing.

In discussing what he sees as the broad portions of an agreement the President used a real estate term to openly solicit the payment that would have to be made to the U.S. Treasury.

“I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the U.S. Treasury of the United States, because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen,” Trump told reporters Monday afternoon.

“Now they don’t have any rights, unless we give it to them,” Trump continued. “If we’re going to give them the rights then it has to come into this country, it’s a little like the landlord-tenant. Without a lease, the tenant has nothing, so they pay what’s called ‘key money’ or they pay something, but the United States should be reimbursed.”

Trump is actively forcing the sale of a foreign-owned company, after announcing he would ban it over the weekend. And now that he’s forcing the sale, he’s saying the U.S. should get a “substantial” cut from the sale of the company – or he will not allow it to go through.

In some states and certain situations, “key money” is illegal.

It is not known if any other U.S. company purchasing a foreign asset or company was ever required to pay what effectively sounds like a bribe.


Posted by: Mao | Aug 4 2020 6:07 utc | 55

What security, fuck the B.S.,

wE brook no competitor
Thats the FUKUS mantra.

In the eighties, US chip firms were routed
by JP superior technology and pricing.
INtel and co had no answer to Toshiba,
HItachi, Fujitsu etc., what to do ?
Call Don the fixer.

How fukus imposed its infamous long arm
jurisdiction to destroy the crown jewel
of Jp semicon industry, Toshiba.

Posted by: denk | Aug 4 2020 6:58 utc | 56

*Thank you, Medea. While in China I tried to steer very clear of heavy political commentary. Maybe it is time for me to say something.
Although the new China initiatives are at least partly to Trump’s failure to have any positives to mention for his first term as president, there is another serious reason that hawks in the US (namely the two major parties plus the military) are disturbed. China is working to unite Asia and Africa and Europe. This will bring wealth and vigor to these areas. Poor landlocked regions of Central Asia will become hubs of trade and travel. How wonderful. Africa will be included. Europe will be included.
The US could work to do a similar thing with North and South America. For two centuries with the Marshall Plan the US has had free rein to play in this area. The area has not flourished as a result. The US does not want to be a team player with China on the team anymore. The US cannot compete.
The US game is a totally different game. Make the competitor weak by using minorities to split up the country. Even as Nixon worked to befriend Mao and open Chinese trade, war was ongoing in Tibetan interference, the Vietnam War, the US base in Japan, strengthening South Korea, isolating North Korea–all giving the US a presence surrounding much of China. The US wanted trade but at the same time was always working on a smaller China.
China responds now in the same way as always, with patience. And perseverance. I believe that the areas that the US is complaining about have real problems, due mainly to foreign intereference in these areas. Best thing to do? Let China handle it, back all the way out.

Cancelling Chinese apps like Tiktok and Wechat?
Wechat makes the US money. I will pay tax on the Chinese students I continue to teach online. Chinese families send money to their students in the US by Wechat.

Do the apps spy? Good grief. Every single contact I make online seems to be spying from the feedback I get.*

Posted by: denk | Aug 4 2020 8:34 utc | 57

If you start forcing competition to sell to your blackmail on unsubstantiated grounds why not use the same line of reasoning to declare that you just use the Huawei patented 5G because the company allegedly stole the ip from us companies in the first place. that’s what Chinese do by their genetics.

Posted by: U_p | Aug 4 2020 9:49 utc | 58

Posted by: denk | Aug 4 2020 6:58 utc | 56

Most of Japan's economic woes are all linked to their traitors selling out to Americans.

In 2012 Elpida was sold to the US (surprise), leaving Japan with no high-end DRAM manufacturing capability ever since. Fast forward to today Japan is totally outclassed by China at the high-end in electronics. Serve the spineless Nippons right, as they are content as long as their Yankee masters continue to shower them with worthless lip service for their obedience.

Posted by: J W | Aug 4 2020 10:27 utc | 59

Den lille abe @53: "The US is a lost cause anyway and reporting on their next new insanity, in a way grows old, in a country ruled be retards and morons, the output from said country will be: Dadaae, moronic."

While that is very true, the spastic stomping and thrashing about of a moronic and dying elephant need to be closely watched by us mice. We may argue that no rational actor would ever use nukes or doing anything else that destructive, but the United States has been departing from rationality on a tangent for a few generations now. The US is now so far gone that they (regular Americans) really do think the Chinese care about fundamentally unattractive American teens posting short selfie videos, and worse, that this is a national security threat.

Just wait until a Chinese AI company starts moving into the US car insurance market. End Times hysteria like you've never seen before will ensue.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2020 11:02 utc | 60

China is home to four of the world’s five largest unicorns, led by Alibaba’s Ant Group

Interesting. Didn't know China was so advanced in the unicorn sector. In my mind, it still was mainly an USA phenomenon.

Posted by: vk | Aug 4 2020 11:47 utc | 61

vk @61

Note America's four unicorns in the top ten: The top one has the US government as its main customer (SpaceX), one sells addictive nicotine "electronic" cigarettes to kids (JUUL), and one is the private sector arm of the US "intelligence community" (Palantir).

Way to go, America!

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2020 12:20 utc | 62

My son lived in China for nine years, returning the USA three years ago. I visited eight times, each time for at least 6 weeks. I also saw the optimism and energy there. The China Dream is real while the American Dream has become a nightmare.

Posted by: China Grannie | Aug 4 2020 13:43 utc | 63

This is nothing but another US financial terrorism. I think we should be very clear about this and not be afraid of calling it as such. That is why everyone selling their dollar reserves and buying Gold. I am sorry to say that at the end of the day these actions only harm US financial standing. It is all nothing but madness and destruction, but, I understand that some are trying to destroy anything and everything for reelection.

Posted by: Mike4512 | Aug 4 2020 15:34 utc | 64

The Chinese know what they are doing. I predict they will play this masterfully and end up winning on multiple fronts, while the USA loses on every front. The hunted turns on the hunter.

Bytedance will go through the motions of negotiations, but will hold up their defences all the time, all the while expressing regret etc like the victim that they are supposed to be. In the meantime, all apparent lack of progress in negotiations will be used to depress the perceived market value of TikTok from the US point of view, by making it appear more likely it would be banned, which is supposed to depress the sale price and increase pressure on Bytedance. Ultimately, Bytedance will intentionally allow the deal to fail, and TikTok to be banned - that will be it's true lift-off! Like a presecuted martyr, the banned TikTok will still be available to install outside Google as an apk file, and data servers will be moved completely outside the USA.

If you were a youngster in the USA would you stop using TikTok just because it was banned by the government? No, you would find it even more attractive, just like cigarettes and alcohol. As a banned product it will take off in a way a normal app never could! It will become the most HIP app on the market. At that point, Bytedance will broaden its product range to be more attractive to adults, using kids to hook them in to a fully integrated range of products.

By operating as a fully non-US company, Bytedance will operate in full compliance with US laws relating to not providing service in the US and will "prohibit" people in the US from using it but - of course - will not stop them (nor cannot). In every respect, the US will lose out. Because Bytedance will not officially be operating in the US and USians can only access it by their own efforts to evade restrictions, the US will not be able to put pressure on Bytedance - they will be outside US jurisdiction.

Bytedance will gain a perfect foothold into the global market for a broader range of products, including free advertising and promotion by the US shenanigans; the US products will be shown the door to the exit chute - which will be a blessing to everybody in the world except NSA and the western elites; their product will be free from NSA backdoors; NSA will lack backdoors to the most popular products; US will lose out on social media tools, while China will gain on social media tools; US loses out on reputation on every front, China wins on reputatio on every front. Win win win win for China.

Oh, and not to forget, Bytedance will make a fortune on it. They are laughing all the way to the Bank [of China]. And by the way, thanks very much Bytedance for your service.

Posted by: BM | Aug 4 2020 15:36 utc | 65

"US’ ‘mafia-style tactic’ on TikTok strips last layer of decency":

"US President Donald Trump's latest move to force China-based ByteDance to sell its video-sharing app TikTok to a US company and pay the US government a share of the transaction has been derided by many in China - experts and ordinary citizens alike - as 'naked robbery' using mafia-style tactics that strips the last layer of decency from the US, which claims to be free market that upholds the rule of law....

"Such a dangerous escalation warrants stern retaliation from the Chinese government, including taking a proportionate, reciprocal countermeasure on US businesses in the Chinese market, to make it clear to the US administration that its reckless behavior won't go unchecked, the experts urged, adding that without concrete countermeasures, the US president could further step up crackdowns on more Chinese firms and could even pick fights in other geopolitical areas." [My Emphasis]

And so opens a long article about the TikTok Saga where China's reaction finally recognizes the utter Evil of the Outlaw US Empire.

"Trump's remarks immediately sent shock waves across Chinese social media platforms on Tuesday, where many declared the end of the US as a free market and a country ruled by the law, calling the move 'naked robbery' from a Chinese company.

"'This is a Chicago mafia-style way of doing things, pure and simple: Pointing a gun at your head and ordering you to make a deal,' Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Thursday, 'there is no point in discussing the legality of the move because there is none. It's utterly immoral.'"

The rhetoric is 100% accurate. The top four items at Global Times reflect the Mafia, Robbery, Rogue State nature of the issue as seen by China.

"Using claims of national security concerns and others, the Trump administration has been stepping up its crackdown on a rapidly rising number of Chinese companies, including the multi-year long campaign against Chinese telecom giant Huawei. But many in China view the move against TikTok as ultimate proof of what they call a 'shameless' US administration that would do anything to serve its own interests.

"'This is beyond absurdity. It has really reached below the bottom,' Fang Xingdong, founder of Beijing-based technology think tank ChinaLabs, told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that the US 'has no moral high ground' left in its claims of a free market and a country upholding the rule of law. 'It has shown its willingness to stop at nothing for its own interests.'"

Such is unilateralism combined with the utter disdain for the rule of law and its own fundamental law of the land as I've written of dozens of times. China will likely turn the table and use a similar stick.

"While some experts also criticized TikTok's response toward the US crackdown as lack of 'bravery' and 'full of opportunism,' others say that there is not much Chinese businesses can do in the face of a powerful US government and that China must implement 'stern retaliation' against the US' actions otherwise more Chinese companies will be targeted.

"'If we don't retaliate, then the US will become even more aggressive, it will target more Chinese companies and it could even make a move in other areas, including Taiwan,' Shen said, adding that it would be 'very easy' for China to retaliate. 'We can also tell a US company that it must sell its China operations or it will be banned.'"

It's not all about the election as some are saying since Trump's behavior has been ongoing for over two years now.

"But experts said that such an assessment lacks the proper understanding of how dangerous a precedent the move set for the US government and others to target Chinese companies and interests.

"'It is important for the Chinese government to exert some effort to ensure that the US would pay the price for such behavior,' Fang said, adding that given the intensifying crackdown on Chinese tech companies, China should treat and guard the high-tech sector as an area of 'core interest.'

"Some experts have also suggested that China could continue opening up the domestic financial market for foreign businesses from other areas, but bar US companies from entering until the US government halts its crackdown on Chinese companies." [My Emphasis]

The bolded suggestion is the path to follow, IMO, to send the appropriate message to Trump and his Masters. And China's experts are correct when they say TikTok is just a test case with more to follow. The Outlaw US Empire as led by Trump wants to disconnect from China, so China ought to grant them their wish and totally cutoff all access to China's markets; in other words, play Hardball and let what remains of the Outlaw US Empire's domestic retailers like WalMart, Target and Amazon beat on Trump's head for his rashness.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 16:43 utc | 66

JW 59

We all know what it means to be a US 'ally'.
To paraphrase Finian Cunningham

To be a friend means....
Uncle calls the shot,
while the poor dear shoot his own foot.

Such is the case with Canberra, following Washington's dictat to antagonise its biggest customer WILLY nilly, spending a fortune to prep for war with China, who has zero intention to invade Oz.

Ditto Canada, kidnapping a Huawei CFO
at the behest of of Washington, pissing off
a hitherto friendly China big time.

UK, reneging on its contract with Huawei on 5g
after arm twisting from Trump and co.

Jp was practically neutered after HIroshima.
An occupied country bristling with US bases
including the notorious OKinawa .
Jp mainland itself are littered with US air
force exclusive zones out of bound to JP
air planes.
What do we expect Tokyo to say when Washington bark 'jump', except 'how high my lord', or 'which foot shall I shoot myself sir' ?

Toshiba didnt stand a chance cuz Tokyo was taking order from Washington.
With backing from the entire nation,Huawei is a much tougher nut to crack.

Hence we see Trump and co are getting more
desperate and resorting to more and more
underhand gangster tactics these days.
Fig leave be damned,

Posted by: denk | Aug 4 2020 16:47 utc | 67

BM @ 65


Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Aug 4 2020 17:01 utc | 68

Wonderful use of words in today's Global Times Editorial:

"The Trump administration said it would shut down TikTok or let a US company purchase it. Now, it's demanding that the Treasury cut the deal. These constitute a clear robbery of TikTok. The US has been claiming to build an Indo-Pacific order based on rules.

"However, just look at what Washington has done with TikTok. Where are the rules?

"Washington's rules are 'might is everything.' The US, as a strong power, not only is the rule-maker, but also willfully takes its wanton actions to break the rules as part of the rules. Other countries can only keep the rules in mind and accept US' violations of the rules.

"The TikTok incident shows that in a US-led world, power overwhelms rules. There is no such thing as a fight for rules. The US will make it a fight for power. The basis for rules is morality. When morality clashes with power, the US will use power to knock morality down. This is the essence of the US-led international order." [My Emphasis]

I'd say other nations now have an alternative that voids this observation--"Other countries can only keep the rules in mind and accept US' violations of the rules"--as there's clearly a large Bloc that centers its actions on the International Law as stated within the UN Charter and related legal instruments. Once it might have been possible for the Outlaw US Empire to say to a nation: "Either you trade with us or we'll bomb you," but those days no longer exist thanks to carrier killing missiles and advanced air defenses.

The TikTok example won't be lost on other nations--particularly ASEAN nations--who ought to also see it as a direct threat to their interests. Hardball and the damage it can inflict is the only language understood or listened to by the Empire, which ought to also be clear by now to the world's nations. The editor concludes by making two very important points:

"Once again, the US has set an example to the world how it uses power to set aside rules and morality. This sounds an alarm of huge political risks to global companies which operate in the US. When a company becomes big and poses a perceived challenge to US business giants, it could anticipate something disastrous. Even if the owner of TikTok is a European company, can people be sure that it will not be squeezed by the US?...

"However, the US has no domestic forces to stop all this. It's foreseeable that with the US as an example, rules will play a weaker role in building of world order in the 21st century.

"In a world which lacks rules, the cost of interaction between countries will increase, and the subtle shift from a win-win result to a lose-lose one will be inevitable. At a time when people are experiencing an unprecedented pandemic, it will be tragic to lose rules." [My Emphasis]

Logic points to only one solution: Contain the rule breaker and force it to change its ways.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 17:16 utc | 69

Gen Smedly BUtler,
"Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents''

When British OIl was nationalised by Teharan,
London called the Don.
A regime change and a bloodbath later, they
put the Shah in charge and every thing back to normal, just like the good ole days.

When the Aussies didnt get their way with
tiny East Timor in the Timor Leste oil field
negotiation, Canberra called Cheney the oil man.
What were the Timorese supposed to do
when the Don had already spoken,
Oz had its way

What a cozy set up this outfit they call the
'five eyes', some say 'five liars'.
Rule based indeed."

Posted by: denk | Aug 4 2020 17:30 utc | 70

the real story is that the kids cannot be allowed to talk to each other. who manages and "owns" it is irrelevant. the consumers of the product don't give a fuck about any of this national security theater horseshit. but the owners know that if the kids from china get to talk to the kids in the US, goodbye war. can't let that happen.

the owners want universality, "omniscience." they want to surveil everything. that same technology cannot be allowed for free communication among the peoples of the world. cuz the kids, as they already do, would quickly see through the lying bullshit of their parents and elders. cuz they'd really rather dance and make silly videos to share than be priests to their parents' idols and warriors in their fathers' wars.

Posted by: jason | Aug 4 2020 17:44 utc | 71

This complements b's work on this quite well I think...

The Anti-Empire Project: (podcast)

The American Trap Sprung on Tiktok and Huawei

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 4 2020 17:45 utc | 72

At first there seems to be little linkage between John Pilger's latest essay, "Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now," and the TikTok saga. But that would be a mistake as virulent racism made Hiroshima possible and is quite capable of pushing the button for a second. It's difficult to provide a coherent excerpt from his excellent essay that relates to the thread's context, but this is clearly the best:

"The current phase of this campaign began not with Trump but with Barack Obama, who in 2011 flew to Australia to declare the greatest build-up of US naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region since World War Two. Suddenly, China was a “threat”. This was nonsense, of course. What was threatened was America’s unchallenged psychopathic view of itself as the richest, the most successful, the most 'indispensable' nation."

Yes, I agree 100% with Pilger that the Outlaw US Empire is "psychopathic" in its views and actions, and it's "led" by a group of such men. Some complain about this blog being US-Centric. Yet Pilger's essay informs us there's a very good reason for keeping a very close eye on what the Outlaw US Empire is doing as it's a threat to all humanity--and I mean that very seriously.

I should also suggest Dave Lindorff's essay thanking the spies related to the Manhattan Project for providing the USSR with the means to create MAD. When read after Pilger's, it becomes very clear the Outlaw US Empire would've used its bombs whenever it wanted to, beginning with its grand plan to use 300 on the USSR in the early 1950s as soon as all the parts were in place--that's the racism that fueled McCarthy. That he was finally brought to heel by a military man is indeed ironic when one knows the hidden history of that age.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 18:23 utc | 73

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 18:23 utc | 73

karlof1 good stuff. A strong John Pilger fans but not Dave Lindorff. My past experienced in "Common Dreams,” Dave criticize readers not donating enough (donated to Common Dreams and comments using real email). I quiet Common Dreams, stopped reading all Dave’s article. . He ain't that good nor convincing in Common Dream. I place Dave same category as The Saker, the bibleman...

Posted by: JC | Aug 4 2020 19:01 utc | 74

JC @74--

I should note that Dave doesn't write for Common Dreams. He self-publishes at his own website, and his work's been noted by Project Censored many times over the years. I corresponded with him a bit earlier in the decade. I suggest you read his Wikipedia page as his work and what I know about him doesn't jibe with what you've written.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 19:19 utc | 75

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 19:19 utc | 75

No offence intended but to share: I stand correct. I remember distinctively between 2010-2012, when we decided to walk out of our house. A strong liberal, an NPR, PBS, John Moyer's fan and supporter before Moyer retired. Dave was a panelist in CD (Common Dreams) or most of his works published in CD. CD banned most of its regular readers including me. Changed its posting format to Disque. CD was maybe still an Israeli Trojan horse - an Israeli conspiracy’s theory?? Dunno!

Just went to CD check, guess what? Bill Moyer still there includes two f**kers Bernie Sanders and Thom Hartman. Thom is the biggest f**kers and liars. He quiet RT last year or 18.

Thanks anyway.

Posted by: JC | Aug 4 2020 20:08 utc | 76

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 19:19 utc | 75

b, sorrie OT to show Karlof1 more...

DuckDuckGo search "Dave Lindorff Common Dreams" results after more filters:

Common Dream - Published on Wednesday, July 24, 2019

"Hong Kong and Puerto Rico: Two Colonies Doomed to Second-Class Status by Remote Central Government Control"

Karlof1 please refer to above, Dave a freaking fake liberal or NeoLiberal in the same class as Thom Hartmann and Sanders! HK is China, no one has any right to interfere with China internal affairs, PERIOD! Dave uses Puerto Rico and HK indirectly attacked China. Do you buy his argument?

I must admit China handling HK not the best, but Xi Jinping tried to leave HK alone but with the US, 5Eyes and EU unrelenting bias racist attacked, China has the right do what she thinks best...

Posted by: JC | Aug 4 2020 21:02 utc | 77

JC @76--

I was banned by CD during the 2016 Campaign for being very critical of the D Party. I commented prolifically using the name EnemyofWar. I believe you mean Bill Moyers, who I also berated in 2016. Indeed, I skewered most of the liberal commentators CD republished during that time as it was so easy to do given the gaffs they made. I also accused Disqus of censorship via technology when it made access to the platform impossible for certain browsers. CD banned me and a few dozen more only to see its level of donations and readership drop like a rock. When I discovered CD in the late 1990s, it was a very good informational site that provided links to international news sources in most other nations, which was great for students and teachers. At some point it lost its independence and was brought under the D-Party's boot as it didn't say anything about Obama's massive law-breaking as soon as he entered office. It scrubbed much of its archives at that point. CD remains part of my daily reading cycle, but on a very selective basis; and of course, I don't comment there anymore.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 21:11 utc | 78

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 21:11 utc | 78

Right On! We changed or I move more to the left cuz D moved to the Right. I even donated to Hillary initially presidential race. We dun need to be of same mindset. I dun go to CD anymore. I'm with you. Keep posting your excellent opinions:-)

Posted by: JC | Aug 4 2020 21:22 utc | 79

India, US appear to be on the same page

Border Talks Stall: India Demands Total Withdraw Of PLA Troops As Beijing Urges End Of 'Boycott China' Campaign

  • The Indian Army has demanded that Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces conduct a full and rapid withdrawal from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) border in eastern Ladakh.
  • India's media is hailing Modi's "digital airstrike"
  • Both sides have continued flexing throughout the standoff, including China reportedly sending more jets and military hardware to its high-altitude bases along the border.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2020 21:31 utc | 80

JC @77--

Just now saw your additional comment and link. I read Lindorff's essay and noted its many errors. I'd say his credibility has declined since 2016 or so, as have many writers--Blumenthal and Norton being two previously mentioned at this bar. Credibility for a journalist is akin to fidelity in a successful marriage--one lie and all previous good/hard work can vanish in an instance. At your link, Lindorff's initial mistake was to treat Hong Kong and Puerto Rico as being the same when they're apples and oranges instead--similar as being fruits but otherwise incompatible: a glaring error any experienced writer ought to have recognized and fixed. Lindorff chose not to, so we must ask why. The potential answers I arrive at don't jibe with his article from yesterday that I linked to about the Manhattan Project spies; it's as if two different minds did the writing. It's also possible he read Pilger's essay, which was published yesterday, prior to writing his own, thus his new found point-of-view.

We as readers, researchers, writers, citizens, historians, etc., must evaluate critically; but that evaluation rests on our own, hopefully deep, understanding of the facts. Too often, people lack the prior knowledge required to evaluate, which is why journalistic credibility is so damned important. On the Lebanon thread, I linked to a new study that looks into how the citizenry of the Outlaw US Empire views its media, which is informative but still has gaping holes mostly related to the Why question. The Social Historian within me wants more questions asked so more data can be analyzed to try and answer some of those Whys.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 21:47 utc | 81

Excellent we are on the same mindset. Sincerely believe we are heading toward confrontation - civil war between China and Taiwan, but need to take a nap now. :-)

Posted by: JC | Aug 4 2020 22:54 utc | 82

JC @82--

I don't think a conflict between China and Taiwan can be considered a Civil War. The Japanese occupied Taiwan/Formosa, then the Outlaw US Empire took it from them at WW2's end, which allowed the KMT to evacuate there; otherwise, KMT would've been completely defeated. So, IMO, Taiwan is a de facto US Colony. So an attempt by China to reclaim its territory would produce a war between it and the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 23:00 utc | 83

The thing China scares me most is not Huawei or tiktok, rather, it's the 996: 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week. I'm saying this as a frustrated parent sometimes wondering why my 12 year old is not anything like the Asian kid next door, or me who works not even hard.

Where does he get the idea that one day he'll be rich through financial trickery?

Posted by: c | Aug 5 2020 1:05 utc | 84

Or so I heard.....

FB once had a TT clone, Lasso.
It was soon taken out after a disastrous debut.
Simply NO competiton,.

In 2019, Zuckerburg had a meeting with the
Don thru Kushner, after that, FB seems to
be in full collaboration mode with the WH.

while Trumps tweets often get tagged with
negative remarks, his rants on FB were left

ON a congressional testimony .
Amason, Google, Apple all agreed there aint no
evidence of Chinese Ip THEFT, FB
alone parrot the WH line of Chinese perfidy.

Trump had hardly announce his ban on TT, when FB already trotted up Reel, another clone of the popular Chinese app,
TT celebs were encouraged to jump ship over to FB,
with their video production fully
sponsored plus other financial incentives.
Was FB anticipating Trump's move ,
insider info anyone, ?

Have problem, call the Don.
Works like a charm.

YOu scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
Thats the beauty of this rule based
'five liars' alliance.

Posted by: denk | Aug 5 2020 10:17 utc | 85

Global Times updates the Taiwan situation:

"If the cross-Straits situation spirals out of control and leads to a military showdown, the US and the island of Taiwan will be less confident than the Chinese mainland. The mainland's military strength that has grown rapidly has an advantage in the Taiwan Straits. China has the moral high ground, and the Chinese people have the strong will to safeguard national unification....

"As China strengthens its morality, every card it plays will have greater deterrence. We should also make Taiwan society realize that indulging the Tsai Ing-wen authorities in upgrading US-Taiwan ties by 'salami tactics' is a dangerous move, and being a pawn in the US' hard-line strategy toward China will lead the island of Taiwan to unbearable disaster. [My Emphasis]

The bolded text is definitely a message to Taiwan, with the "unbearable disaster" meaning defeat in a war the Taiwanese have zero chance of winning since the Outlaw US Empire won't risk its navy to protect it. And even if the USN did sail to try and deter, it would also suffer an "unbearable disaster" along with Taiwan. And IMO, this is no empty threat as China no longer has any patience for extraterritorial provocations. Taiwanese ought to take a good look at Beirut's port facilities and know theirs will look the same and worse if they provoke the mainland to use its military to enforce unification--for unification will occur.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2020 16:15 utc | 86

Time for Elon Musk to step in. He can buy it with TSLA shares. Such a transaction would be equal to acquiring TOC TOK for 0. Paper swap.

Posted by: joseph vona | Aug 7 2020 2:05 utc | 87

@jason | Aug 4 2020 17:44 utc | 71

the real story is that the kids cannot be allowed to talk to each other.

Another motivation for the US to kill TikTok is that the app is a direct, uncensored viewport into China. US teens can clearly see that their peers in the Middle Kingdom do not live in a sh*thole country. This contradicts much of the mainstream media's narrative on China, and could even lead the younger generations to suspect said media. The lying liars, of course, could not be more dismayed at the prospect of losing their future captive audience, so TikTok must go.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 7 2020 5:26 utc | 88

@jason | Aug 4 2020 17:44 utc | 71

the real story is that the kids cannot be allowed to talk to each other.

Another motivation for the US to kill TikTok is that the app is a direct, uncensored viewport into China. US teens can clearly see that their peers in the Middle Kingdom do not live in a sh*thole country. This contradicts much of the mainstream media's narrative on China, and could even lead the younger generations to suspect said media. The lying liars, of course, could not be more dismayed at the prospect of losing their future captive audience, so TikTok must go.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 7 2020 5:26 utc | 89

What a bunch of ridiculous nonsense. As in the Highlander TV series. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. And that one shall be the NSA and the CHP shall not have any part of the action. Have all the fake news economic guestimating you want. This is about National Security.

Posted by: Keith Hayes (K-Dog) | Aug 10 2020 7:40 utc | 90

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