TikTok talks show how Trump’s deal-making style can cause collateral damage

  • President Trump initially said only a full sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations would prevent a ban of the application, but he settled on a lesser deal that involved minority stake sales to Oracle and Walmart.
  • If Trump had said in July that he would be willing to accept a more limited deal, Microsoft may have won the deal and TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer may still be running the company.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump faces reporters as he departs for campaign travel to Ohio from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, September 21, 2020.


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U.S. President Donald Trump faces reporters as he departs for campaign travel to Ohio from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, September 21, 2020.

Maybe the simplest way to think about what’s happening with TikTok is collateral damage.

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The Trump administration has used technology companies as a battleground for geopolitical warfare with China. It blocked Broadcom’s attempt at buying Qualcomm in 2018 over arrangements with “third party foreign entities.” It banned U.S.

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