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Trump not ready to accept TikTok deal, admits US won’t be cut

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WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump said he expected to receive a report Thursday on Oracle’s offering for China’s TikTok-owned video-sharing app and admitted he there was no legal way to allow the US Treasury to get a share of the deal proposed by the experts. criticized as unprecedented and possibly illegal.

I am not ready to sign anything. I have to see the deal, Trump told White House reporters on Wednesday night of the Oracles’ interest in TikTok.

Some in the United States have expressed concerns about the deal, fearing that ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese company that owns TikTok, will maintain access to information about the 100 million TikTok users in the United States.

It has to be 100% when it comes to national security, Trump said.

The president previously said he would ban TikTok if it wasn’t sold to a US company. In an August 6 order, Trump said TikTok would censor content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive, is potentially a source of disinformation campaigns, and threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party to access Americans’ personal and proprietary information. .

TikTok claims it has not and will not share US user data with the Chinese government, claims it does not censor videos at the request of Chinese authorities, and notes that moderators of US operations are led by a team American.

Trump said he was stunned to learn that the Treasury could not receive any payment in exchange for the United States signing the deal.

Surprisingly, I find you are not allowed to do this, Trump said. If they’re willing to make big payments to the government, they’re not allowed because … there’s no legal way to do it. … How dumb can we (the United States) be?

TikTok, which claims to have 100 million users in the United States and 700 million worldwide, is known for its fun and wacky dancing, lip-syncing, prank and joke videos. It is also home to more political material, some of which criticize Trump.

The Oracle arrangement, according to a person familiar with the matter who is not authorized to speak publicly, hands data from US users of TikToks to Oracle, which is said to oversee TikTok’s technical operations in the United States. Oracle will not develop code for the application, but will review it and updates.

Not all Republicans agree with the Oracle deal. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, a frequent critic of China and the tech industry, called on the government to reject the Oracle partnership and instead pursue the full sale of TikTok to the United States or ban the app instead. .

An ongoing partnership that allows for anything other than the complete emancipation of TikTok software from the potential control of the Chinese Communist Party is totally unacceptable and totally incompatible with the president’s August 6 decree, he wrote on Tuesday.

A group of six other Republican senators led by Marco Rubio of Florida sent a letter to the president on Wednesday expressing reservations about the partnership agreement with Oracle, saying he appeared to have significant unresolved national security concerns and that an agreement must ensure that TikToks US operations, data, and algorithms are entirely beyond the control of ByteDance or any Chinese state-led actor.

A Trump executive order set a deadline for September 20, although it is not known what will happen that day. TikTok has taken legal action to end the ban, which also affects a separately owned Chinese messaging app, WeChat, which is used by millions of people in the United States.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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