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China Revises Law To Put Itself in Control of Whether TikTok Can Be Sold To an American Company

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  • China revised a law on Friday that it had not changed since 2008 in an attempt to stop TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, from selling the app to a foreign company without the Chinese government’s permission. 
  • ByteDance announced Sunday that it would “strictly abide” by the new law. 
  • CNBC reported that ByteDance has agreed to a deal and that the details of that agreement could be made available as soon as Tuesday; however, China’s new rule could complicate any potential deal. 

China’s Revises Law Ahead of TikTok Deal

A new law in China could potentially complicate or even halt the sale of TikTok to an American company. 

On Friday, the Chinese government revised its rules around the sale of certain types of technology to foreign buyers in an attempt to “formalize the management of technology export” and “protect national security.”

The list of changes includes data processing, speech, and text recognition — all tech that TikTok uses in its app.

China’s rule change never directly mentions TikTok or even its parent company, ByteDance, but this is the first time those rules have been revised since 2008. The change would likely require ByteDance to obtain government permission before selling TikTok to a foreign company. 

Speaking to state-run news agency Xinhua, trade expert Cui Fan said that ByteDance should “seriously and carefully consider whether it is necessary to suspend substantive negotiations on relevant transactions.”

“For the international business to continue to operate smoothly, no matter who its new owner and operator are,” Cui told the agency, “it is highly likely that there will need to be a transfer of software codes or right of use from inside China to outside China.”

According to Bloomberg News, it could take up to 30 days for ByteDance to get the green light to export AI.

Why Did China Change the Rules?

China doubled down on criticism of the United States Monday by accusing the U.S. government of “abusing the national security concept and state power to suppress specific businesses of other countries.”

“The U.S.’s attempt to take economic bullying and political manipulation against non-American companies, whether it is politically coerced transaction or government enforced transaction, is no different from plundering,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

In an interview with CNN Business, Anupam Chander, a law professor at Georgetown University, said that the law change is essentially a way for China “to exert some leverage over the situation.”

“Beijing wants to protect its ascending status in global technology,” Political economist Shirley Yu also told the outlet. 

Yu added that if the U.S. were to succeed in buying TikTok, “China would be concerned that, as its technology companies continue to ascend, more Chinese companies… might be targeted by the United States in a similar way.”

TikTok Bidder Has Reportedly Been Chosen

ByteDance responded Sunday by announcing that it will “strictly abide” by China’s rule change. 

There has been massive anticipation for a deal to be reached. On Monday, CNBC reported that a bidder has been chosen for TikTok’s U.S., New Zealand, and Australian businesses. According to sources who spoke to the outlet, that deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

That follows a similar report from Fox Business that later turned out to be inaccurate. On Friday, Fox predicted that confirmation of a signed and binding deal to purchase U.S. assets of TikTok could have come as early as this past weekend. 

Still, the deadline for ByteDance to reach a deal in the U.S. is rapidly approaching. On August 14, President Donald Trump signed an order requiring ByteDance to divest away from U.S. TikTok operations within 90 days. If that doesn’t happen, the app could essentially be banned in the U.S.

“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance… might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” the president said in the order.

TikTok has repeatedly denied that claim, saying that U.S. user data is stored domestically with a backup in Singapore. It’s also affirmed that its data centers for U.S. users are located outside of China. 

According to analysts, there are currently two front-runners in the race to acquire TikTok: the software company Oracle, as well as Microsoft, which has now teamed up with Walmart. 

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that TikTok’s rival-app, Triller, had submitted a $20 billion bid for the company; however, there has been ample confusion since, as a spokesperson for TikTok later denied that claim. 

“We can confirm that we are not and will not be in talks with them,” the spokesperson said. “Still, we are flattered by how much they admire TikTok.”

On Monday, Triller Executive Chair Bobby Sarnevesht denied that Triller’s claim was part of a publicity stunt and affirmed that the company had submitted a bid to buy TikTok. 

“Our bid is submitted,” he said to CNBC. “We have confirmation that the chairman and people pretty high up at ByteDance are aware of it. And we have correspondence going. I know they are considering what the next step is to do.”

Following his comments, ByteDance and TikTok again said refuted the claim, saying that they are unaware of any such bid and that no one from either company has even spoken to Triller on the matter. 

Experts expect the winning bidder to shell out anywhere from $20 to $30 billion for TikTok.

See what others are saying: (CNN Business) (CNBC) (The Verge)

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TikTok’s Bryce Hall Launches Finance Podcast

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  • TikToker Bryce Hall has just launched a finance podcast titled “Capital University” with entrepreneur and investor Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano.
  • Pompliano will serve as a mentor figure, teaching Hall and listeners about building generational wealth, the basics of investing, and money management.
  • Hall was inspired to start the project after learning from the mistakes he made with money early on in his career. In the first episode of the podcast, he was also critical of other influencers who rely on YouTube ad revenue and TikTok brand deals while overspending on lavish items.
  • Some wonder if this venture will help change the public’s perception of Hall, who has developed a negative reputation for throwing massive parties during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Capital University

TikTok star and Sway House member Bryce Hall officially launched a finance podcast Tuesday where he and his fans will learn about money management.

The 21-year-old’s podcast is called “Capital University,” and he’s joined by co-host Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, an entrepreneur and investor who has worked for companies like Facebook and Snapchat before getting into venture capital.

Pompliano is supposed to serve as a sort of mentor figure, teaching Hall and listeners about building generational wealth, the basics of investing, and other tips for ensuring financial security.

Inspiration Behind the Podcast

However, Hall will also use the podcast to talk about his personal experience with fame and wealth at a young age. He told PEOPLE magazine that the idea for the podcast stemmed from mistakes he made earlier in his career.

″I always thought money was an object,″ Hall said. ″I was spending money before I even had it.″

He also talked about going ″completely broke″ and getting hit with taxes. All of this made him realize the importance of money management, which he though his fans might also want to know about.

Though he’s admitted to making mistakes with his money, he’s definitely worked to turn things around. For instance, he recently created an energy drink company called Ani with fellow Sway House creator Josh Richards.

On top of that, in the first episode of the podcast, Hall talked about his four-month-old merch brand, Party Animal, saying it clocked in more than $1 million in its first quarter.

Criticism of Other Influencers

With this new interest in learning about finance and business, the public could be seeing a lot more from Hall soon.

At the same time though, he also caught some attention for calling out the spending habits of another TikTok star, Thoman Petrou. He’s the co-founder of the Hype House, and Hall claims that Petrou, like other influencers, is taking a shorter-term approach in his career by relying on YouTube ad revenue and TikTok brand deals.

In fact, Hall estimated that Petrou makes about $150,000 a month but says he overspends on lavish items.

“He, along with many other influencers, like to really prove that they’re making a shit ton of money,” he said in the first episode of the podcast.

“But when you spend it like an idiot, and you’re buying like McLarens, Porsches, i8s, like just cash, I look at these kids and I’m like ‘Oh my god. They’re so stupid.'”

“They don’t understand that social media, this poppin’ time that they’re in, isn’t going to last forever, and right now, when you’re at the top, this is when you’re going to be making the most money. You just got to find a way to sustain it.”

For now, it will be interesting to see the reactions to this venture, and Hall’s new interest in finance has some wondering if it could change people’s perception of him. Hall earned himself a bad reputation for repeatedly throwing massive parties during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Still, some compare his success to that of YouTube Jake Paul, who is also recognized as a businessman and entrepreneur but has continued to embroil himself in controversies.

See what others are saying: (PEOPLE) (Tubefilter)

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Influencers Exposed for Posting Fake Private Jet Photos

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  • A viral tweet showed a studio set in Los Angeles, California that is staged to look like the inside of a private jet.
  • Some influencers were called out for using that very same studio to take social media photos and videos.
  • While some slammed them for faking their lifestyles online, others poked fun at the behavior and noted that this is something stars like Bow Wow have been caught doing before.
  • Others have even gone so far as to buy and pose with empty designer shopping bags to pretend they went on a massive spending spree.

A tweet went viral over the weekend exposing the secret behind some influencer travel photos.

“Nahhhhh I just found out LA ig girlies are using studio sets that look like private jets for their Instagram pics,” Twitter user @maisonmelissa wrote Thursday.

“It’s crazy that anything you’re looking at could be fake. The setting, the clothes, the body… idk it just kinda of shakes my reality a bit lol,” she continued in a tweet that quickly garnered over 100,000 likes.

The post included photos of a private jet setup that’s actually a studio in California, which you can rent for $64 an hour on the site Peerspace.

As the tweet picked up attention, many began calling out influencers who they noticed have posted photos or videos in that very same studio.

@the7angels

Come fly with the angels 👼

♬ Hugh Hefner – ppcocaine

Perhaps the most notable influencers to be called out were the Mian Twins, who eventually edited their Instagram captions to admit they were on a set.

While a ton of people were upset about this, others pointed out that it’s not exactly that new of an idea. Even Bow Wow was once famously called out in 2017 for posting a private plane photo on social media before being spotted on a commercial flight. 

Twitter users even noted other ridiculous things some people do for the gram, like buying out empty shopping bags to pretend they’ve gone on a shopping spree.

Meanwhile, others poked fun at the topic, like Lil Nas X, who is never one to miss out on a viral internet moment. He photoshopped himself into the fake private jet, sarcastically writing, “thankful for it all,” in his caption.

So ultimately, it seems like the moral of this story is: don’t believe everything you see on social media.

See what others are saying: (LADBible) (Dazed Digital) (Metro UK)

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South Korea’s Supreme Court Upholds Rape Case Sentences for Korean Stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon

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  • On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court in Seoul upheld the sentences of Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon for aggravated rape and related charges.
  • Jung will serve five years in prison, while Choi will go to prison for two-and-a-half.
  • Videos of Jung, Choi, and others raping women were found in group chats that stemmed from investigations into Seungri, of the k-pop group BigBang, as part of the Burning Sun Scandal.
  • The two stars tried to claim that some of the sex was consensual, but the courts ultimately found testimony from survivors trustworthy. Courts did, however, have trouble finding victims who were willing to come forward over fears of social stigma.

Burning Sun Scandal Fall Out

South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld the rape verdicts against stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon on Thursday after multiple appeals by the stars and their co-defendants.

Both Jung and Choi were involved in an ever-growing scandal involving the rapes and sexual assaults of multiple women. Those crimes were filmed and distributed to chatrooms without their consent.

The entire scandal came to light in March of 2019 when Seungri from the k-pop group BigBang was embroiled in what’s now known as the Burning Sun Scandal. As part of an investigation into the scandal, police found a chatroom that featured some stars engaging in what seemed to be non-consensual sex with various women. Police found that many of the message in the Kakaotalk chatroom (the major messaging app in South Korea) from between 2015 and 2016 were sent by Jung and Choi.

A Year of Court Proceedings

Jung, Choi, and five other defendants found themselves in court in November 2019 facing charges related to filming and distributing their acts without the consent of the victims, as well as aggravated rape charges. In South Korea, this means a rape involving two or more perpetrators.

The court found them all guilty of the rape charge. Jung was sentenced to six years behind bars, while Choi and the others were sentenced to five years. Jung was given a harsher sentence because he was also found guilty of filming and distributing the videos of their acts without the victim’s consent.

During proceedings, the court had trouble getting victims to tell their stories. Many feared being shamed or judged because of the incidents and didn’t want the possibility of that information going public. Compounding the court’s problems was the fact that other victims were hard to find.

To that end, the defendants argued that the sexual acts with some of the victims were consensual, albeit this didn’t leave out the possibility that there were still victims of their crimes. However, the court found that the testimony of survivors was trustworthy and contradicted the defendant’s claims.

Jung and Choi appealed the decision, which led to more court proceedings. In May 2020, the Seoul High Court upheld their convictions but reduced their sentences to five years for Jung and two and a half years for Choi.

Choi’s sentence was reduced because the court found that he had reached a settlement with a victim.

The decision was appealed a final time to the Supreme Court. This time they argued that most of the evidence against them, notably the Kakaotalk chatroom messages and videos, were illegally obtained by police.

On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ultimately disagreed with Jung and Choi and said their revised sentences would stand.

Jung, Choi, and the other defendants will also still have to do 80 hours of sexual violence treatment courses and are banned from working with children for five years.

See What Others Are Saying: (ABC) (Yonhap News) (Soompi)

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