Jason Miller, a former Trump adviser, says the new Gettr social app is backed by a foundation linked to Guo Wengui.

Former Trump adviser Jason Miller says a new free-speech-focused social media platform he runs has received financial backing from a foundation linked to fugitive Chinese businessman Guo Wengui.

Called Gettr, an acronym for “get together,” the Twitter-like platform appeared in app stores last month and will be formally launched on July 4, Miller said.

Miller, who recently left Trump’s office to serve as the company’s chief executive, said Delaware-registered and New York-based Gettr was backed by international investors including “the Guo family foundation.” It added that Mr. Guo does not have a direct financial stake or a direct role in Gettr, nor did he identify the foundation that made the investment.

The Wall Street Journal could not independently identify the foundation, and Miller had no further comment.

“I think a lot of people understand, with the United States, the desire for a new social media platform that is truly based on these principles of freedom of expression, independent thought, rejection of censorship and cancellation of cultures.”

– Jason Miller, former Trump adviser

In an online video last week that was seen by the Journal, Guo said he was an advisor to the social media platform, but was not involved as a member of its management. An account in the name of Guo, an avowed critic of the Communist Party of China, which is marked as verified by Gettr indicates that it was created in July 2021.

“We really see this as a global platform,” Miller said. “I think a lot of people understand, with the United States, the desire for a new social media platform that is truly based on these principles of freedom of expression, independent thought, rejection of censorship and cancellation of cultures.”

Miller declined to discuss finances or personnel, but people familiar with the matter said it has raised about $ 30 million so far and that the company employs more than 100 people.

The Daily Beast previously reported on Mr. Guo’s ties to Gettr.

A former real estate developer in Beijing, Mr. Guo has been wanted by the Chinese government for several years, for alleged crimes including money laundering and fraud. He has denied wrongdoing and presents himself as a world leader in the fight against the ruling Communist Party of China.

Guo has worked closely with Trump’s former political adviser Steve Bannon and is involved in other business ventures, including a website called GTV, where Guo regularly broadcasts long videos in Chinese for his followers.

For months, Miller has led an effort to find a new social media home for the former president after Trump was ousted from Twitter and Facebook following the January 6 riots, when a crowd of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. USA. Trump’s office held dozens of meetings with alternative social media platforms in hopes of releasing something by July 4, the Journal previously reported.

In those discussions, Trump hoped he would be paid in some way for followers he would lead to any upstart social media, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Trump had nearly 89 million followers on Twitter.

Miller said Trump is not at Gettr, but hopes he will be sometime soon. “We are obviously waiting for ‘realDonaldTrump’ for him. It is up to him if he wants to join at some point. It has several different offers. “

A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Although Gettr scrolling posts and verified accounts look a lot like Twitter, there are a number of characteristics that set it apart, Miller said. Posts will be longer, up to 777 characters.

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While any user can post videos up to three minutes long, social media influencers, such as broadcasters, will be able to post segments up to 10 minutes long, he said. Users will be able to import their existing tweets as part of their account setup. “People own their own tweets,” Miller said.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment.

Later this year, Gettr plans to implement an “online recognition” feature that will allow users to donate directly to politicians, Miller said. Rather than advertising, Miller said the platform seeks to make money from e-commerce.

While it bills itself as a free speech app, Gettr prohibits threats, harassment, stalking, hate speech, bullying, sexually explicit content, and a host of other behaviors. It will use a combination of human and artificial intelligence moderators to police the platform, Miller said.

“We want to make sure this is a marketplace for ideas, and people can feel free to express their ideas without fear of being fired,” he said. When it comes to “behavior that becomes illegal or threatening to other people,” he said, “we want to make sure it is avoided.”

Write to Keach Hagey in [email protected] and Brian Spegele in [email protected]

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