President Donald Trump to ban TikTok
Image Credit: Alex Castro/ The Verge
President Donald Trump while aboard Air Force One, said that TikTok will be banned in the United States, ‘As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.’ Mr. Trump rejected Microsoft’s offer to buy TikTok from the parent company. India has also banned Tiktok along with hundreds of other Chinese apps last month in response to the border clash. India argued that the Chinese apps posed a serious threat to the ‘sovereignty and security’ of the country. Read more about this here:
Donald Trump said that he might use an executive order or emergency economic powers to ban the application from operating. The decision to ban TikTok might occur as early as Saturday.
TikTok is an application which allows its users to film short videos along and share them. It is owned by the Chinese compant, ByteDance, a Beijing -based internet technology company, founded in 2012. In the US it estimated that around 65- 80 million people use the app. It also gained popularity in other Western countries, where it has been downloaded around 315 million times in the first 3 months of this year. A TikTok spokesman when contacted by ABC News, said,
‘These are the facts: 100 million Americans come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, especially during the pandemic.We’ve hired nearly 1000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the US. Our $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform. TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.’
A New York City-based nonprofit advocacy organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, believes that banning TikTok, ‘is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical.’
On the other hand, critics of the app believe that the data of all users will eventually end up in the hands of the Chinese Government.
The ban of TikTok may severe even further US-China relations, during a period when relations between the two superpowers is already at record low. Many observers describe the current situation as a new ‘cold war’.
Last year, the US also banned Huawei from operating its 5G network, and put pressure on several of its allies to ban the company from operating in their countries. The US, as well as countries including United Kingdom, believe that Huawei is a threat to national security. Recently, UK stripped Huawei from using its equipment in the UK for its 5G networks.
The battle for technological dominance between the two superpowers has been the main cause of rivalry between the US and China.