US TikTok move 'mafia' deal
TikTok's roller-coaster ride in the US continued on Monday as President Donald Trump said he would approve the video-sharing app's sale to Microsoft only if the US government gets a cut, a condition that one expert called a "mafia" deal.
The president also gave Microsoft and TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance, a deadline of Sept 15 to complete the deal, or the app will be banned in the US.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular media briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that the US treatment of TikTok is "outright bullying", and the US only uses a "national security risk" as an excuse to suppress Chinese tech enterprises.
The legal basis of Trump's requirement that some of the money from the deal go to the US Treasury was immediately questioned by experts.
"This is quite unusual; this is out of the norm," said Gene Kimmelman, former chief counsel for the US Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.
Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC, said Trump's "extortion threat" is a "mafia business model".