Donald Trump‘s Dangers to ban TikTok and WeChat made for semi-hysterical Responses from internet-famous stars, but they also marked among the frontlines of his cold war with China More than technology.
Trump’s executive order from August alleged that TikTok”automatically captures vast swaths of information” out of users and”threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ private and proprietary data –potentially allowing China to track the areas of Federal employees and contractors, assemble dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and run corporate espionage.”
Joe Biden revoked that order on Wednesday, replacing it with an order of his own to launch a national security review of apps linked to China and other adversarial nations. Whereas Trump’s order was relatively scattershot, experts told The New York Times, Biden’s establishes a concrete process, making it in some ways more stringent, despite the lack of overt threats. “It’s a tiny continuation into the Trump management strategy, which was subjected in court as being a small hollow procedure,” attorney Brian Fleming, who focuses on national security and international trade matters, told the Times.
In the lead-up to Trump’s ban, ByteDance, the controlling company of TikTok, had been under heavy pressure to sell if it wished to continue operating in the U.S. marketplace. A number of American corporate entities, including Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart, were in talks to buy TikTok, but no such deal was ever made. Confronted with the push to sell TikTok, the Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned the pitch. “When we see the U.S. tugging maneuvers of economic governmental and governmental manipulation over non-U.S. businesses, we see average’coerced transaction by the government’ and’forced transaction by the government,’ which can be nothing short of extensive daylight robbery,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at the time.
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