Recently, TikTok, a Chinese owned app came under pressure from Donald Trump, the president of the United State of America to sell its US operations or stand the risk of being banned. However, in a swift move, China implemented new export rules to give it outright power to veto the sale.
The Tiktok ban is the latest in the ongoing tensions between the United States and China. President Trump had earlier issued an executive order restricting the activities of WeChat and TikTok both of which are Chinese based apps.
For several years, TikTok broke the records to become the first Chinese platform to gain massive followership in America thereby rivaling American based platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Both WeChat and TikTok have generated large audiences all over the world.
The sale of TikTok’s American operations has led to the escalation of the ongoing trade battle between the US and China. Experts have predicted that this ongoing struggle could herald an era of a new normal for American companies playing their trades in China.
Recall that Beijing had earlier blocked major foreign websites hence sheltering Chinese tech firms. This action led to the development of various alternatives to compete with Western rivals.
On the other hand, the United States stood for openness globally which helped an army of internet Giants gain worldwide dominance.
Trump had ordered BrteDance, the parent company of TikTok to sell its US operations claiming that it posed a threat to national security. He also added that the American government must be given a share of the sale. This follows a White House program released recently which seeks to start purging Chinese telecom companies and apps from U.S. networks.
Trump had earlier ordered TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app’s American operations by mid-September or face a ban in the US. Trump said TikTok’s Chinese ownership posed a national security threat and added that the US government should be given a cut of the sale.
Furthermore, President Trump’s administration further placed a restriction on Huawei which seeks to stop them from purchasing computer chips manufactured using American technology.
Together, the moves brought about a new era of a more invasive American philosophy of technology regulation. A regulation that moves closer to the kind of China’s protectionist regulation, however, does not intend to control the populace and censor content.
If other countries decide to follow president Trump’s basing on digital controls, it will affect not only diplomatic allegiances but also raise security concerns on their citizens. The internet is likely to become varied like visa policies across the world.
This move is capable of hurting US internet giants like Google and Facebook and Google, which have significantly benefited from the Chinese market as well as other Chinese giants such as Alibaba and Tencent which are making efforts to break into the Western market.
Specifically, most companies might be forced to choose who to do business with between China and the US as new regulations may make it costly to carry out business in both markets.
The recent ban on TikTok is expected to take effect on the 20th of September, 2020. Although the American government claims the ban is part of measures aimed at protecting their citizens from the threat of information theft by the Chinese authorities, the effect of such an action cannot affect international trade and bilateral relationships.