Another day, another example



It’s getting to the point where every single day you can find examples of the US becoming a banana republic, usually on Trump’s twitter account:

The appeal came a day after US president Donald Trump vowed to ban TikTok in the US, and said a sale to any party — including Microsoft — would not be an acceptable solution.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Mr Trump told reporters on Air Force One late on Friday, who said he could use executive powers to formalise the decision as early as Saturday. “We are not an M&A [mergers and acquisitions] country.”

The comments left some involved in the talks between Microsoft and ByteDance fearing that any hope of a deal had collapsed on Saturday.

However, others — including ByteDance executives — believe that Mr Trump’s intervention was a negotiating ploy intended to compel the Chinese group to sell the US business in full and at a lower price than it had been holding out for from Microsoft.

Yes, we can’t have a Chinese firm involved in US social media. And everyone knows that Microsoft is secretly owned by the CCP.

Recall all those crocodile tears in DC about the big tech “monopolies”?

Microsoft has a limited presence in social media and believes a deal would allow it to enter a category dominated by rivals such as Facebook, one person added.

In private, TikTok executives and investors have speculated that Facebook, which is preparing to unveil a rival product in America as soon as this week, has been lobbying the US government behind closed doors to ban the app.

Wouldn’t that be a surprise.

BTW, I did a post on December 10, 2019 over at Econlog. Here’s the title and first two sentences:

Is the “War on Tech” just around the corner?

The media says yes. I say no. 

And here’s Tyler Cowen today:

Furthermore, the tech companies have been rising in popularity.  I am going to “call” that the “war against Big Tech” essentially is over, and that the critics have failed.

In last year’s post I explained why the war on tech would fizzle:

Actually, I do understand, which is why I’m so skeptical of the idea that a war on big tech is just around the corner.  Big tech firms are the crown jewels of the US economy.  Their big profit margins are a boom to both US stock investors and the US Treasury.  Yes, we could break them up into tiny pieces, each highly competitive.  I’m sure the French government would love to see tech profit margins plunge so that French consumers would transfer much less money to the US.  But I’m not sure why the US would want to do that.

How do left wing politicians in Sacramento feel about breaking up big tech, which provides much of the funding for California’s lavish social programs?  How do left wing politicians in Massachusetts feel about drug price controls, which would impact the Bay State’s lucrative biotech industry?  How do left wing New York politicians feel about Wall Street profits?

President Trump is known to have a somewhat negative view of many firms in Hollywood and Silicon Valley.  So how does he represent their interests in trade negotiations?  Who said, “all politics is local”?

All we are left with is a war on Chinese tech.