TikTok a year after Trump’s ban: No changes, but new threats

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Saturday will be marked one year later Donald Trump He says Would ban Popular and addictive short video application Tik Tok From millions of American smartphones, the reason is that their Chinese ownership poses a threat to the privacy and security of users.

A week later, Trump signed a Executive order Guide the Chinese owner of the app, Byte beating, Either sell TikTok to a U.S. company within 45 days, or see it being forcibly removed from the app store and blocked.The deadline has been extended several times, and Oracle Walmart Become a recognized savior For TikTok in subsequent transactions Put aside. Once, Trump brazenly It is recommended that any sales should include cuts to the U.S. government itself.

One year has passed, nothing has changed, everything has changed. ByteDance still owns TikTok, and TikTok added 7 million new US users in the first four months of this year. Trump is gone, and the threat from the US government has faded-but the Chinese government is now vaguely visible to this popular application.

“If I were ByteDance, I wouldn’t be able to open champagne,” said James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director of Strategic Technology Projects Strategy and International Research Center“TikTok may be completely still, but the surrounding scenery is moving-mainly because of Chinese activities.”

China has taken an increasingly tough stance on regulating technology companies and reviewing the data they have.Subverting the e-commerce giant Ant Financial after its IPO AlibabaIn December last year, the government introduced new cybersecurity rules in April, imposing stricter restrictions on domestic technology companies.

This month, the Chinese government prevented ride-hailing service Didi from registering new users and ordered the app to be removed from the Chinese app store a few days after the company’s initial public offering. It is said to defy It is recommended to postpone the network security audit.There are also byte beating Reportedly shelved Due to similar government scrutiny, it has its own initial public offering.

In the United States, President Biden in June quit Trump’s executive order tried to ban TikTok and another Chinese-owned app WeChat.Last week, TikTok and the government Agree to abandon the lawsuit Trump’s ban was attempted. But Biden ordered the Ministry of Commerce to investigate foreign applications including TikTok.

Lewis believes that the Biden White House is as uneasy about TikTok as its predecessor. He said the government may issue its own executive order, leading to a forced sale. “This administration has a tougher attitude towards China than Trump, partly because they are organized,” he said. “This is not chaos.”

As Trump took action on TikTok, the West became increasingly suspicious of China’s economic growth and technological influence. According to reports, in the past few years, many European countries have tried to restrict economic ties with China. July 2020 report From the Brookings Institution, Washington think tank.

This feeling is two-way.Ma Rui Tech Buzz China Those who follow Bytedance closely say that the idea of ​​Bytedance selling TikTok has met with considerable public resistance in China. Some people worry that US ownership will pose a security risk to the data of the parent company and its Chinese customers.

TikTok seems unlikely to be the object of superpower competition. The application provides a steady stream of remixed songs, memes, viral clips and strange celebrity cameos, selected by algorithms to attract your interest and taste.Trump’s imminent ban was shocked and suspicious by TikTok addicted teenagers last year; others Notice the irony of closing A platform that cherishes freedom of speech in the name of punishing China, where information is strictly controlled.

ByteDance seems to be hardly an agent of the Chinese government.The company has faced Pressure from the government In recent years, due to the pornographic or obscene content provided by its news application Jinri Toutiao (It means “today’s headlines”). But TikTok’s relationship with China is still a concern of the US government, especially as its influence and influence continue to expand. TikTok’s US users increased from 65.9 million at the end of 2020 to 73.7 million in April. according to eMarketer, an analysis company. The app is a remarkable example of China’s high-tech business acumen, beating some of the world’s largest social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter in its Silicon Valley home game.

TikTok originated from Bytedance’s 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly, an American lip-synching app. Under Trump’s instructions, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States conducted a retrospective review of the acquisition of Musical.ly. End of August 2020 Think it poses a threat to national security. CFIUS and the Ministry of Commerce did not respond to requests for comment.

TikTok has launched new initiatives aimed at allowing users to participate and use the platform in new ways.Last week this included A way for users to apply for jobs Send it to the selected recruitment company by recording “TikTok CV”. “TikTok has a lot of data about Americans,” Lewis said. “It has their faces, their voices, and their IP. It has become a huge window into American society.”

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