THE NEUTRAL ZONE
President Trump issued an executive order Thursday evening that gives the popular social media platform 45 days to find a buyer from Chinese-owned company ByteDance Ltd. The order would ban TikTok and a chat app, WeChat, from operating in the U.S. Microsoft said Sunday it would continue with talks to buy the app, which would lift the order.
The order alleges that TikTok captures information such as location data, browsing and search histories from its users. Trump calls this a risk because it threatens to allow the Chinese government access to personal information from American users, which could lead to China obtaining information damaging to the U.S.
TikTok users were reportedly trying to find ways to get around a ban, including tricking servers to make it look as if they were using it in a different country, though it’s unsure if the order would prevent U.S. residents from using the app.
TikTok said the order set a “dangerous precedent” and said it would take all “remedies available,” including legal action. TikTok also said it does not store user information in China or shares it with officials in Beijing.
TikTok threatens legal action over Trump’s order – Politico – 8/7/2020
TikTok threatened Friday to take legal action against an executive order issued by President Donald Trump that would bar the parent company of the Chinese social media app from doing business with U.S. companies.
Trump takes aim at China’s bridge to the world by targeting WeChat – The New York Times – 8/7/2020
The all-purpose app, which the administration is restricting along with TikTok, is how many Chinese living abroad stay in touch with each other, and with people back home.
Chinese-Owned TikTok, WeChat Have 45 Days To Sell Or Leave United States – The Federalist – 8/7/2020
Both face accusations of censoring content that is politically undesireable for the Chinese Communist Party and sharing user data with the Chinese government.
The lessons of TikTok – Cato Commentary – 8/7/2020
Although there may be some legitimate concerns here, the administration’s unilateralist approach creates a bad precedent. A better way to address the concerns of data security would be for the United States and others to create a set of international rules to govern data protection, which would foster a safe, fair, and stable environment for both businesses and consumers.