The following is one story you’ll find in today’s edition of The Water Coolest’s free daily email newsletter. The Water Coolest is a daily business news and professional advice email newsletter geared towards bros (read: expect a hearty helping of unfiltered commentary and advice on how to suck less at work).
You can sign up now to get the latest news and commentary delivered to your inbox every weekday at 6 AM EST.
They say every generation is defined by its greatest struggle…
Looks like we’ll go down as the generation defined by the global power struggle caused by a viral video app for pre-teens. Well, that or the two recessions and a global pandemic.
China is not happy with Donny Politics right now. You see, POTUS is doing something… China does all the f*cking time. Most US big tech firms (read: Facebook, Amazon, Twitter etc.) are banned from operating in China. Still, Beijing is calling bullsh*t on Trump’s proposed ban of TikTok in the US because it will stifle the country’s technological expansion. Make up your mind already, President Xi.
That number one spot
For those that haven’t been spending time at the local teen center lately (so, hopefully, everyone here), TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world… and the most popular app to come out of China… well, ever.
This was a huge W for Beijing, but the potential sale of US operations to an American corporation could set a dangerous precedent for other companies in China that aim to achieve the same levels of global success… say Alibaba or Tencent.
Because of the implications
And the implications go much further than just ByteDance and Microsoft. The internet (yes, the entire interwebs) is showing signs of fracturing as countries increasingly use app and website bans as a diplomacy tactic.
India, for example, retaliated against China (which killed actual Indian soldiers in a border dispute) by banning TikTok and Tencent.
Meanwhile, Australia and Japan are considering similar moves (a TikTok ban that is, not killing Indian soldiers).
The bottom line…
So, is Microsoft still looking to buy TikTok and wind up in the middle of an international sh*tstorm?
Potentially, but only if Uncle Sam gets a cut.
Donny Deals said he would approve the purchase, but only if the Treasury Department gets a “substantial portion” of the sales price since his use of presidential power essentially brokered the deal. Power. Moves. Only.
Is that kosher? Well, one law professor had this to say: “It’s completely unorthodox for a President to propose that the U.S. take a cut of a business deal, especially a deal that he has orchestrated. The idea also is probably illegal and unethical.”
Water Cooler Talking Point(s)
💧 “So, should I download TikTok now? Is this going to be as valuable as the iPhone with Flappy Bird that nearly sold for $100k?” (Nick, The Water Coolest HQ)
Like what you see? There’s more where that came from. Sign up now to get the latest news and commentary delivered to your inbox every weekday at 6 AM EST.