Well … that was pointless.
After the US free trade idea was belittled in the name of a misguided security concern, several billion dollar corporations embarrassed in the interests of sheer greed buckled up and demanded that the US government cut profits , the TikTok The saga we’ve seen for the past few weeks finally seems to be over.
A spate of announcements late Saturday night suggests that the TikTok deal was actually a politically-minded shakedown to kickstart the cloud infrastructure business of key supporters of the President of the United States.
Oracle, AWS, Amazon, and Microsoft, whose cloud infrastructure services take a ridiculous fourth place, will team up with partner Walmart to acquire a 20 percent stake in TikTok before TikTok Global (as the new company is called) goes public.
According to a statement from TikTok, Oracle will become TikTok̵
Meanwhile, Oracle stated that any White House, Treasury, and Congress concerns about TikTok had nothing to do with the service’s selection of Oracle as a cloud provider. In its statement, Oracle said, “This technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.”
The deal benefits everyone except U.S. consumers and those who actually have security concerns about TikTok’s algorithms and the way they can be used to influence opinion in the U.S.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance Oracle gets a huge new cloud customer to boost its troubled business, Walmart gets teen access to sell stuff, and US customer data isn’t any more secure (it’s only now in the hands of US predators rather than foreign ones).
To be clear, privacy and security are major concerns, but it’s not necessarily a concern when it comes to TikTok (and besides, the Chinese government has probably already gathered all the data it needs from US customers).
For many observers, the real concern with TikTok was that Beijing’s Chinese owners could be pressured by Beijing to manipulate its algorithm to promote or suppress content. Businesses in China – including their internet giants – must follow the country’s intelligence and cloud security law, which requires full compliance with all government data orders.
The Commerce Department stated in its statement: “In light of recent positive developments, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, on instructions from President Trump, will delay the ban on identified transactions under Executive Order 13942 in connection with the TikTok mobile application on Sunday, September 20, 2020 until in force on September 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. “So this is a week off.
So all this noise and anger … what for? The best ROI with all of these gimmicks is almost certainly Oracle’s co-CEO, Safra Catz ‘. Investing in Trump, who not only was a heavy donor to the Trump administration but also joined the President’s Transitional Committee in 2016. Thank goodness the US saved TikTok from China’s crony capitalism. Let’s just hope they enjoy Washington DC’s crony capitalism.