Politics

ByteDance Opposes Profitable TikTok Sale Because China Wants Control, ‘Give It Up’ if We Can’t Pass Bill

On Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Peter Schweizer — who is the president of the Government Accountability Institute, a Breitbart News senior contributor, and the New York Times bestselling author of Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans — stated that if the House TikTok bill passes, ByteDance will make a profit on the sale of TikTok, and the reason they oppose a sale “is they don’t want to give up the control and the access to our kids.”

Schweizer said that TikTok has “a lot of lobbyists. They have several former U.S. senators that are on the payroll, they have senior — former senior campaign advisers, both for Presidents Trump and Obama, and you have these large American investors, including Jeff Yass, who owns a large stake, and they are throwing a lot of money into this. The thing everybody has to keep in mind with these American investors you were talking about, the Chinese law is clear, if these investors disparage or criticize ByteDance, their shares can be seized and taken away from them. So, we should not really, I would argue, take the word of what these investors are saying, because the Chinese government has them over a barrel, and they can’t be honest, frankly, about their views of the company, because they risk losing all their shares.”

He added, “[L]et’s be honest about ByteDance. ByteDance is a company that is joined at the hip to the Chinese Ministry of State Security. They do joint research together on artificial intelligence. The Chinese government has designated the TikTok algorithm as a state secret. This is not just company proprietary information, it is a state secret. And, as I lay out in ‘Blood Money,’ I quote extensively from Chinese propaganda officials, military officials, they view TikTok as a Trojan Horse and they lay out in great detail how they are already using it to manipulate and drive young people in what they think and what they feel. So, this is a form of what China calls cognitive warfare. If we can’t deal with this problem, I don’t see how we can deal with anything. The notion that a company that works closely with the Ministry of State Security is giving unfettered access to our children and we can’t do something about it, we might as well give it up if we can’t pass a bill like this.”

Schweizer concluded, “They’re all going to make money, because there’s a lot of interest that companies would have in acquiring this asset. So, it’s not like they’re losing it. … And the investors, the American investors and the Chinese investors, would be made whole. They would make money on this deal. The reason they don’t want to end this is they don’t want to give up the control and the access to our kids.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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