Last week, Chinese Communist state media were hailing a prospective deal between Chinese company ByteDance, Oracle, and Walmart for control of the TikTok social media platform as a huge win for ByteDance and China, and a crushing defeat for President Donald Trump — The terms of the deal, however, changed a little over the ensuing week, prompting Chinese media to denounce it as “highway robbery” on Friday.
“Media and experts pointed out that the United States used the pretext of national security to carry out coercive transactions, which has seriously undermined market principles and international rules, and exposed its unabashed hegemony, setting a bad precedent in the international community,” Xinhua gasped.
In a frantic effort to round up international “experts” who condemned the deal, Xinhua cited the Wall Street Journal calling it “crony capitalism”… without mentioning that the Journal thought the deal was not strict enough on TikTok and concluded by suggesting it was “better to ban TikTok outright than negotiate a deal that the French would be proud of.” In other words, they condemned the deal as precisely the big win for China that Chinese media were celebrating at the time.
The Wall Street Journal, in a Friday morning article that Xinhua showed no interest in quoting, noted that keeping TikTok’s source code secret is even more of a priority for the CCP than ByteDance executives apparently realized.
“The Trump administration is acting entirely in U.S. interests, and even partly out of the self-interest of the ruling party, who simply does not allow a foreign company capable of challenging the competitiveness of its U.S. counterparts,” the Global Times wrote, apparently laboring under some profound misconceptions about which American political party is generally supported by Big Tech.