Jean-Jacques Cornish

Tik Tok forced sale won’t happen

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In these deadly serious days of the pandemic and the U.S. presidential poll, one has to search for the laughs.

Happily Tik Tok is providing mine.

Yes, yes, I know it is designed for younger consumers.

But it is not the content that provides my chortle.

It is the belief by the orange-tinted US Presidential candidate DonaldTrump that he can force ByteDance, the owner to sell Tik Tok to an American buyer.

Not only that, but that he can slice a percentage off the top of the transaction and claim it is for the public purse.

What is funny about that, you ask?

Well the premise is ridiculous.

Trump’s submission thatTtik Tok poses a danger to US security is reportedly based on intelligence from the US military and security establishment.

Get it?

Those are the very people warning that Russia is interfering in the US election to secure Trump’s re-election.

They are also the people whose information that Russia has paid bonuses to Afghan militia to kill US soldiers has been pooh poohed by the President.

If this potentially disastrous double standard doesn’t exactly have you rolling in the aisles, how about the President’s misreading of the international game.

He tells reporters last week that they are talking too much about Russia and that he’s like to hear more about China from them.

If the media can help him understand that China is much more than a target for cheap shots at his unhealthy election rallies , it would be doing the U.S. a great service.

Trump plainly does not understand the strength of China nor does he grasp its penchant for playing the long game.

When President Richard Nixon made his ice-breaking visit to Beijing he asked Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai of his assessment of the French Revolution.

“Too early to say,” was Zhou famous reply, illustrating the depth of Chinese patience.

It is subsequently emerged that Zhou may have thought Nixon was talking about the 1968 worker/student uprising in Paris rather than the 1787 storming of the Bastille.

But it’s all part of the fun.

 If you don’t believe me, ask Microsoft, Oracle and Walmart whose shares took an upward trajectory when they became part of the Tik Tok acquisition game.

The cold reality for those chasing the Chinese social network for user generated videos the world over is that the forced sale simply is not going to happen.

Chinese is not going to allow this asset to get lost because of a temper tantrum thrown by a man who realizing he is not going to be around much longer. 

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.