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Trump Demands Microsoft Pay Off the U.S. Treasury to Secure TikTok Deal

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Donald Trump is demanding the U.S. government somehow get a juicy cut of any deal for Microsoft to buy Chinese-owned video app TikTok—or else.

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TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, which over the past year has triggered concerns that the Chinese government could order the firm to assist it in espionage against the app’s estimated 80 million daily active U.S. users. There’s been no evidence that the threat is anything but theoretical, and the company claims that no U.S. user data is ever sent to China, but the White House has announced its intent to ban the app entirely unless there is a complete change of ownership. Over the weekend, Microsoft confirmed it was working on a deal that would have ByteDance divest itself of TikTok and sell it off to Microsoft, thus severing it from China and potentially resolving the suspicions of a national security threat.

As of last week, the White House was opposed to any deal and Trump was still insisting that the app will be banned regardless of what happens. That’s changed. Per TechCrunch, Trump told reporters on Monday that he talked with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella over the weekend and reached a new understanding.

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But Trump has managed to insert what could be a poison pill into the deal: Microsoft will have to pay off the feds to look the other way. TechCrunch’s transcript makes it clear that the president is under the impression that the deal is only possible with U.S. government facilitation and thus a “very substantial” portion of a sale would be owed to the Treasury:

It’s probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30% of it. ‘Cause I say how do you do 30%? Who’s going to get the name? The name is hot, the brand is hot. And who’s going to get the name? How do you do that if it’s owned by two different companies? So, my personal opinion was, you are probably better off buying the whole thing rather than buying 30% of it. I think buying 30% is complicated.

… I did say that if you buy it, whatever the price is, that goes to whoever owns it, because I guess it’s China, essentially, but more than anything else, I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States. Because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen. Right now they don’t have any rights, unless we give it to ’em. So if we’re going to give them the rights, then it has to come into, it has to come into this country.

It’s a little bit like the landlord-tenant [relationship]. Uh, without a lease, the tenant has nothing. So they pay what is called “key money” or they pay something. But the United States should be reimbursed, or should be paid a substantial amount of money because without the United States they don’t have anything, at least having to do with the 30%.

While it’s certainly very possible that Trump was just making up shit on the go or is still misunderstanding basic economic concepts like tariffs, this could also be interpreted as something akin to extortion. The president didn’t elaborate on what legal basis such a payoff could be justified, likely because there isn’t one beyond his desire to score political points on any deal, or whether Nadella had agreed to that condition.

According to Reuters, one concrete outcome of the discussion was that Trump told Nadella that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (which has oversight of international deals) will give it 45 days to negotiate a transaction. If that deadline passes without a deal, Trump told reporters on Monday, the outcome will be a ban on TikTok effective Sept. 15.

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It’s also unclear whether the White House will decide to impose other conditions on the deal. Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN in an interview on Monday that Microsoft should be required to sell off any operations it has in China if it wants to buy TikTok, per the New York Times.

Source : Gizmodo Read More

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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