One of the world’s hottest social media apps would have been banned from the United States starting this Sunday per an order from the Trump administration’s Department of Commerce.
But a deal was arrived at to avoid that and, now, the deadline is being moved to next Sunday…assuming something is wrong with the current plan.
Claiming national security interests are at stake, the government in the United States has moved hard against TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to force a sale of the US division of the app. An initial plan for Oracle to take a minority stake in a new company that is majority-owned by ByteDance didn’t pass the Trump administration’s muster so now we have TikTok coming as its own companies supported by a partnership of Oracle and Walmart who will each take minority stakes while ByteDance holds a majority stake in the company.
US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement posted on the government bureau’s website, “In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.”
The reasoning behind these actions is that TikTok and apps like it including WeChat collect user data that is then funneled back to what the Department of Commerce calls China’s “civil-military fusion,” a reference to the Chinese tech industry’s involvement with the PRC’s military. This charge is particularly rich given the marked and notable collaboration between many Silicon Valley luminaries and the US government, critics highlight.
Conversely, China has long banned apps like Facebook thus rendering any kind of argument about “fairness” here absolutely moot.
“Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party. At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” Ross commented.
One part of the larger conflict between the United States and China over trade matters, the TikTok drama has become one of the more dramatic developments of late given the app’s popularity in the US.
What do you think of the whole TikTok drama in the United States? Let us know your thoughts on this news story in the comments section below if you like.
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