TOKYO - In his game of chicken with China, Donald Trump’s imploding White House just flinched in a big way.

After bombastic threats to the contrary, the US president won’t blacklist mainland tech titans Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent after all, say the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and others.

It’s a climbdown about which neither Trump nor Secretary of State Mike Pompeo can be happy. And it’s a move that speaks to the abject failure of the US side in the Sino-US trade and tech wars.

The global media is clamoring all over the why of this story. The most probable explanation is Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had an earful from Wall Street donors over not being able to invest in three of China’s sexiest companies with a combined market cap exceeding US$1.4 trillion – bigger than Australia’s economy.