back to article 'Robbery, economic plunder, victim of larcenous cronyism and a heist'

Chinese State media have let their readers know what the regime thinks of the Oracle/Walmart TikTok takeover and it appears that the gloves have come off. “Robbery of TikTok reveals unabashed US hegemony” proclaimed Xinhua today, accompanied by ”The TikTok deal, a brazen heist” . Yesterday the line was ” TikTok victim of …

  1. Aladdin Sane
    Mushroom

    It's extortion is what it is. Wouldn't be surprised if it gets slapped down in US courts as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      National Security

      US Courts give a President a lot of leeway for National Security purposes. IMO if Tik Tok really is a National Security Threat, the US should just ban it outright & block it's servers like China does Google & Facebook. If the courts do block Trump on this, that is probably what they will say.

    2. Hollerithevo

      And you forgot

      Also cronyism.

      I despise the Chinese government as deeply as anyone else, but the actions the USA are taking are actually well-described. In a sense, it couldn't happen to a better nation. In another sense, the USA now can't pretend that it has an exceptional moral/ethical/legal standing in the world. It is playing transparent hard-ball to enrich supporters of the Chief, and declares itself, by these actions, on a level with Russia and China, where once it postured as being above them.

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      FAIL

      Extortion with the side of cronyism plus a personal grudge

      Extortion - It's a pure Mafia shakedown. "You want to do business here you have to sell us a piece of the action." Imagine if China told companies which wanted to sell in China that they would have to give China a chunk of their company.

      Cronyism - Oracle and Walmart are controlled by Republican megadonors, M$ isn't. Guess who got the go ahead from Trump?

      Grudge - This whole thing started just after TikTok users made a million ticket requests for Trump's big post COVID rally and after Trumpeting this the arena ended up almost empty.

      1. llaryllama

        Re: Extortion with the side of cronyism plus a personal grudge

        You do realize that China does in fact require joint Chinese ownership of almost any foreign business operating there? Usually involving one way technology transfers.

        It's wrong for either the US or China to do this, but don't be under any illusions about China being some bastion of free and fair trade.

        1. Mark Exclamation

          Re: Extortion with the side of cronyism plus a personal grudge

          This exactly. China is completely hypocritical in their anger. The US is only doing what China started long ago. Google in China? Nope. Facebook in China? Nope. Pot, kettle.

  2. jpo234

    That's rich coming from a country that blocks foreign companies (Google/Facebook/...), requires car makers to give up their know how in joint ventures and used to steal intellectual property left and right. I'm not a fan of the TikTok saga, but China had it coming.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Oh..

      Wait you were talking about Chyana right?

      I thought Intellectual property theft, sharing of know how in joint ventures and general protectionism used to be the preserve of the US of A (too many to bother with)?

      I suppose they'd be best suited to recognise the behaviour...

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Agreed, except that that is an act that should have been executed when China banned Facebook, not years later by a blabbering idiot who can't get his stories straight from one hour to the next.

      1. Jaybus

        His idiot predecessor failed to act.

        1. Hollerithevo

          How to know where you are on the pecking order

          If you should strike back, hard, as over China's earlier moves, and you don't, then you know you do not have the power and might to carry this through. You cannot afford the consequences. As soon as the USA rattled its sabre and then did nothing, to its detriment, we should have realised that the political tectonic plates had shifted. The 'red line' in Syria was another, as well as threats that war will be delivered on Iran - or that North Korea will be taken down.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          His idiot predecessor failed to act

          Kind of hard for Obama to have acted since TikTok didn't exist until Trump took office. If you think Obama should have acted (if TikTok had existed) then why aren't you slagging on Trump for not acting back in 2018 when TikTok came to the US?

          It isn't about national security, it is about kids on TIkTok humiliating Trump at his Oklahoma rally. He had never heard of Tiktok until then, and still wouldn't have if it wasn't for that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Robbery, economic plunder, victim of larcenous cronyism and a heist'

    Normal policy of China towards all foreign companies wanting to do business in China. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: 'Robbery, economic plunder, victim of larcenous cronyism and a heist'

      So we should be fine with our government doing X because Saudi Arabia / North Korea / China do worse ?

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

        Re: 'Robbery, economic plunder, victim of larcenous cronyism and a heist'

        Y'know the saying: Money talks ...

      2. llaryllama

        Re: 'Robbery, economic plunder, victim of larcenous cronyism and a heist'

        There is a middle ground called reciprocity. At the moment you can still export almost anything from China to the US with minimal or no duties, no restrictions on media products and in most cases no requirement for Chinese investors to set up JVs with American firms.

        It's completely one sided and there really needs to be a simple "we give you access to X, you must give is us the same terms into return". Just done in a more professional and diplomatic way than Trump is doing right now.

  4. Doogie Howser MD

    The nerve!

    Pot, meet kettle....

  5. Rol

    Heads you win, tails I lose - perhaps landing on its edge is best then?

    I ask myself - "How intertwined is my life with that of America and its assembly of nodding dog nations, and that of China? Which mash-up of intelligence agencies should I be most fearful of? Who's politics, if left unchecked, would have the greatest impact on my life?"

    And frankly I cannot see how China having my inside leg measurements can have any impact on me, however the same cannot be said for Uncle Sam knowing how I think and how I make my way through life.

    Just like we need AMD to check the rampant excesses of Intel, we need a strong adversary to challenge America's ambitions. And let's not think for a second, that America will be wielding power for the benefit of its entire empire, it will act in its own interests, which I hasten to add, not necessarily the interests of all Americans, but just the few who have clambered to power.

    America, as it stands, is a democracy in name only. It plays by the rules, until those rules become an obstacle, and it recognises all people are born equal, who obviously lose that status within seconds of taking their first gulp of "free" air.

    At present, I'd much rather be monitored by China's security than those working under Trump's despotic regime.

    1. Jaybus

      Re: Heads you win, tails I lose - perhaps landing on its edge is best then?

      Do you really believe that the Chinese government, given access to all of the metadata gathered by TikTok, will choose to look only at inside leg measurements? What will they do with the rest of the data, sell it to GCHQ?

      1. Hollerithevo

        Re: Heads you win, tails I lose - perhaps landing on its edge is best then?

        And your answer is...? What *will* China do with the data? Nothing good, obv/s, but what exactly?

    2. llaryllama

      Re: Heads you win, tails I lose - perhaps landing on its edge is best then?

      You are not the target, the Chinese diaspora are most definitely a target. If you are OK with that because it doesn't directly affect you right now then.. OK.

      China's blend of autocratic government is so tempting for political weasels around the world that we will be seeing a lot more Chinese style pseudo communist autocracy in the coming 50-100 years.

      1. Man inna barrel Bronze badge

        Re: Heads you win, tails I lose - perhaps landing on its edge is best then?

        There is nothing I would call communist about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The people of China serve the CCP, not the other way round, so it is plain totalitarianism.

        I have seen it argued that CCP style totalitarian government allowed the imposition of draconian quarantine measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus, whereas liberal democracies would struggle to do the same. However, it is now emerging that the typical secretive and oppressive rule in China may have allowed the virus to spread more widely, due to suppressing early warnings from health professionals.

        I think all ruling parties try to perpetuate their rule and suppress opposition, even in democracies. No need to copy from China. Naturally, all ruling parties believe that theirs is the One True Way, and would like to get rid of the pesky opposition, who are just getting in the way of progress.

  6. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    Beyond shame

    I used to feel ashamed about how we mistreated the Chinese in the late 19th century during the Boxer Wars.

    However, now that China starts to become more affluent and militarily capable I see them doing the EXACT same things we did to them a century ago to others. I am therefore beyond shame and feel no hesitation to punish, subdue and subjugate them if push comes to shove.

    I feel liberated of my shame and believe the Chinese do not deserve our respect or remorse.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Beyond shame

      While I don't feel any personal shame about events occurring before I was born, I would like to work with people to prevent similar occurrences now and in the future.

      Humanity working together can do great things - humanity working against itself can do horrible things.

    2. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: Beyond shame

      > I used to feel ashamed about how we mistreated the Chinese in the late 19th century during the Boxer Wars.

      Jeez, exactly how old are you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jeez, exactly how old are you?

        Presumably by "we", the OP meant "my country" or something. Many of the countries that behave badly in the past are still with us today.

        1. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: Jeez, exactly how old are you?

          Indeed.

          But the atrocities referred to were committed by people long since dead and rotted.

          There is absolutely no need to feel shame about what others did centuries or decades ago, regardless of whatever political entity whose name it was done in.

          Let's just accept that bad things happened in the past, often by merely ignorant people, and move on.

          Putting the shame of our ancestors onto ourselves is pointless.

          Let us take the blame for our own mistakes, of which I am sure there are many.

    3. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Beyond shame

      I used to feel ashamed about how we mistreated the Chinese in the late 19th century during the Boxer Wars.

      I have some sympathy with the Boxers' xenophobic racism, and there were legitimate grievances, like foreign building being erected [ less so with the fact that foreign structures and paths went over ancestral graves, because the whole of China then was ancestral graves ]; but neither the Boxers nor their sponsors in the Chinese government were in the right.

  7. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Poor Students?

    Maybe the CCP should learn a few things from the Mafia like keep a low profile whenever possible. Being to obnoxious is bad for long term business.

  8. Hollerithevo

    It would be fun if the Chinese Govt just turned it off

    If millions of American kids suddenly lost TikTok, say, before the beginning of October, what would be the political repercussions in the USA?

    Answers on the back of napkin, please, for brevity.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: It would be fun if the Chinese Govt just turned it off

      A lot of haters would take to twitter where Trump's remaining supporters hang out.

  9. IGotOut Silver badge

    I'll just leave this here..

    “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.”

    Yes I have chosen to envoke Goodwins law.

  10. Sparkus

    Just means that the CCP is unhappy with the price/tribute being paid.......

  11. Slx

    Ah! The battle of the two great hypocrisies

    The problem with this is that China has itself done exactly the same with US, European and other multinational companies who wish to do business in China and countless services are blocked on the basis of either national security or censorship.

    However, the US hasn’t just behaved like this in retaliation against China. They’ve beaten up their own allies and friendly neighbours like the EU, UK, Canada etc with ludicrous tariffs and very nasty rhetoric from Trump that even included referring to the EU as an “enemy”.

    China’s human rights record is utterly abysmal. It’s an authoritarian state that has little time for democracy or perso al freedoms. However, look at what we’re watching on the news with paramilitary police attacking protesters, detention centres, kids being split up from families, utterly disproportionate use of incarceration by comparison to any other western nation, pursuit of extreme and unusual punishment against those considered traitors for leaking data etc etc Etc and a President rambling on about being unsure of whether he’ll accept the result of an election.

    American needs to snap out of its own spiral towards autocracy and descent into madness and fast, or it won’t have much soft power left at all, but we also need to be extremely wary of China in many, many ways too.

    Don’t mistake China for some benevolent power just because it’s at odds with a currently very screwed up America. My enemy’s enemy isn’t necessarily my friend.

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