CNBC: Trump Admin Put Kibosh on Walmart Taking Majority Stake in TikTok

Alex Sherman, reporting for CNBC: 

Walmart wanted to be the exclusive e-commerce and payments provider for TikTok and have access to user data to enhance those capabilities, one of the people said. But the people said the U.S. government wanted the lead buyer of TikTok to be a technology company because that would better fit with its national-security rationale for forcing Chinese owner ByteDance to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations.

Walmart confirmed its partnership with Microsoft Thursday, releasing a statement stating its interest in TikTok’s e-commerce and advertising capabilities.

Even if we put aside the issue of whether the U.S. government should be dictating that a foreign company must be sold to an American company — a big issue to put aside that ultimately shouldn’t be put aside, but hear me out here — why do they also get to choose which industry the American company is in? I don’t personally think of Walmart as a tech company but who the hell is Jared Kushner or Larry Kudlow or Steve Mnuchin — or whichever Trump numbnuts it is making these calls — to make that decision?

This is just bizarre banana republic stuff. This is why Wall Street is putting money behind Biden, too — the stock market is riding high, yes, but investors want stability and predictability. The Trump administration’s role in this TikTok sale — not the ban of the service, which is a legitimate national security concern, but this role as broker of the deal — is crazy.

Friday, 28 August 2020