Voice: By banning TikTok, US is protecting market monopoly

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/1 20:58:35

Tik Tok Photo: IC

US President Donald Trump Friday told reporters that he will act as soon as Saturday to ban the Chinese social media app TikTok in the US, calling the action a "severance." 

"Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order," Trump said.

Just like the US government' prior suppression of Chinese technology companies Huawei and ZTE, the US is again cracking down on high-tech companies founded by Chinese people, trying to shore up US global monopoly position with its companies such as Facebook and Snapchat dominating the global market place.

Actually, TikTok operations have strictly complied with US laws. The company has previously confirmed that data of American users is stored in the US, its data centers are located entirely outside of China, and does not send any user data back to China. In May, TikTok appointed American businessman and former Walt Disney top streaming executive Kevin Mayer as its chief executive. 

Cautious and lawful as it is, TikTok is now facing huge uncertainty in the US market, as Trump may decimate its business in America. Increasingly, the Trump administration, bungling its response to COVID-19 pandemic, is increasingly throwing its weight around against China. 

There have been many examples of similar arbitrary and coercive moves from the Trump administration. For example, the US government threatened retaliation after France, Germany and other European countries approved a digital services tax to be levied on Google and Facebook in 2019. 

The US has been bullying its way around the world, which is a serious disruption and poisoning of the basic rules governing normal business operations.

TikTok is massively popular in the US, especially among young Americans. About 60 percent of TikTok's 26.5 million monthly active users in the US are between the ages of 16 and 24, according to the company's data in 2019. 

But now, Trump is moving to snuff out TikTok operations in the US. Such a reckless move is completely against the free market spirit that the US has always advocated for. It is a severe retrogression. 

Politicizing technology will only undermine the US' own competitiveness. By ousting Huawei and ZTE, its 5G rollout will inevitably be compromised. And now by ousting social media apps like TikTok, American users' interests will be hurt, as seldom any American consumers will like to see market monopoly by the like of Facebook. 

Posted in: OBSERVER

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