On Saturday, the president said he had approved a deal in which Oracle and Walmart would partner with TikTok in a new, U.S.-controlled company. Designed to address his objections to possible Chinese government harvesting of Americans’ data, the move came after the Commerce Department abruptly announced Friday it would ban TikTok and WeChat, a second Chinese mobile service, from U.S. app stores. A federal judge later issued a temporary injunction blocking the WeChat ban, meaning both platforms remain available in the United States.
The extraordinary trans-Pacific tussle — China’s foreign ministry groused that it showcased Washington’s “hideous agenda of robbery and economic bullying” — is hardly an isolated occurrence for the fast-souring U.S.-China relationship. This month alone, the Chinese government unveiled new global data security standards designed to outflank a rival U.S. initiative. The American ambassador to China quit his post in Beijing, preferring to help Trump’s reelection bid. And