Big-daddy Trump is at it again as he issues an Executive Order to ban mega Chinese app TikTok in America. This puts its parent company, ByteDance, in the same boat as their compatriots Huawei, as an entity that cannot do business with American companies.
President Trump cites security concerns as the reason behind the ban, saying that TikTok “captures vast swaths of information from its users, including internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories.” he says in this Executive Order. He continues by saying “These data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage”. Big yikes.
TikTok has also addressed the Order by saying that they are “shocked” by the decision and that it was done without any due process. They claim in a blogpost that they have engaged with the US government for almost a year in good faith in order to provide solutions to President Trump’s concerns – but apparently to no avail as the Chinese giants claim the other party to have gone about the issue without heeding facts and dictated terms of agreement.
TikTok says that there are 100 million Americans using the platform for expression, entertainment, and connection, and has promised to continue to provide that to them – perhaps Microsoft’s planned acquisition of the brand’s American arm could aid in this.
With that said, it can also be argued that the Chinese government have banned American apps in their country – apps like Facebook, YouTube and more are inaccessible without a VPN. So perhaps, the Americans are just giving China a taste of their own medicine.
Regardless, it’s hard to say the kind of impacts the Order will have in Malaysia, but sure, it can’t be good. Here’s to hoping for the best.