Trump demands share from TikTok deal

04 Aug 2020

Following the confirmation of talks between Microsoft and ByteDance over the sales of the TikTok U.S. operations, President Donald Trump claimed that the Treasury should get a cut from the sale, once completed. 

Trump stated that when talking to the Microsoft boss, he said that the government should get a "substantial portion" of the purchase price. 

"The United States should get a very large percentage of that price, because we're making it possible.”

"It would come from the sale, which nobody else would be thinking about but me, but that's the way I think, and I think it's very fair,” Trump said. 

He added to say that TikTok will be banned from the U.S. if a deal with the American tech giant is not agreed to. 

Tensions between China and the U.S. increased after the Chinese social media platform was accused of providing data to the Chinese government.

However, Trump’s demands were seen as unorthodox by legal experts. lawyer at DLA Piper, Nicholas Klein affirmed that "the government doesn't have the authority to take a cut of a private deal through" the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. 

Furthermore, MIT Technology Review reporter Charlotte Jee said,  "I hate to say this but it is kind of almost Mafia-like behaviour - threatening a ban which pushes down the price then saying 'oh we should get a cut of that deal afterwards to say thank you for what we've done there”.

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