Malaysia

Trump call for slice of TikTok deal draws fire

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. — Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP pic
US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. — Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP pic

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 — President Donald Trump’s demand for a payout to the US government for a deal on the Chinese-controlled social media app TikTok drew fire today as critics said it appears unconstitutional and akin to extortion.

Trump yesterday said he was prepared to approve a deal selling TikTok assets to Microsoft or another US company after warning of a national security ban, but maintained that he would ask for “a substantial portion” of any transaction to come into the Treasury.

Trump lacks authority for this demand, critics said, adding that if carried out it would be bad for business and international relations.

“Those are the sort of mafia tactics you might see in Russia,” said James Lewis, director of technology policy at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

“It’s not a good policy practice. I don’t think it’s constitutional.”

Bobby Chesney, a University of Texas law professor specializing in national security and constitutional issues, said Trump’s suggestion “is grossly inappropriate and unbecoming, not to mention having no basis in law.”

Former federal prosecutor Michael Bromwich said on Twitter that Trump’s demands sounded like racketeering, referring to the law known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act (RICO).

The Wall Street Journal journalists Spencer Jakab and Dan Gallagher wrote in an opinion piece that Microsoft should reject any such overture.

“If the proposal is serious, and deemed legal, it would set a dangerous precedent for the seizure of foreign businesses through regulatory fiat, and open the door for US firms to suffer the same treatment,” they wrote.

“If the price includes an unseemly payout to the US Treasury, corporate America has far more to lose than to gain by participating.”

Used by as many as a billion people worldwide to make quirky short-form videos on their cellphones, TikTok is the latest front in the ongoing political and trade battles between Washington and Beijing.

The United States maintains that TikTok collects users’ personal data that the Chinese government can access and make use of for intelligence and other purposes. TikTok denies its user data goes to the Chinese government. — AFP

Football news:

Maccabi entered the Champions League without 11 players due to covid. UEFA allows you to play if there are 13 players from the application
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: De Gea saved us for years, Henderson did the same today. Lingard played well
The semed said goodbye to Barcelona: Thank you for the opportunity to realize the dream. Eternally grateful
Juve have leased Morata from Atletico for 10 million euros with the right to buy out for 45 million
Barcelona and Atletico have agreed a move for Suarez (Fabrizio Romano)
At the 1950 world Cup, Amateurs from the United States beat England. The coach of the Americans compared their players to sheep, and the author of the winning goal went missing
Dan Henderson made his debut for Manchester United at the age of 23. He made 141 appearances on loan