Although the European Union already has a lot on its hands as it confronts a new wave of COVID-19 infections and seeks to position itself for a sustainable recovery, it must not ignore another crisis looming on the horizon. The bloc is rapidly and inexcusably falling behind China and America in the digital transition.
On September 18, the US administration announced that it would ban new downloads of the TikTok and WeChat apps. Then, on September 19, the plan was halted when President Donald Trump gave tentative approval to a deal that involved the creation of a new, US-headquartered entity called TikTok Global. As part of the new deal, Oracle and Walmart would own a combined 20 percent of the newly created entity; the remaining 80 percent would be owned by ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company.
The TikTok deal President Trump blessed this weekend is still facing uncertainty over the ownership structure of the new company, putting the agreement in jeopardy as a deadline for a U.S. ban of the video app approaches again.
TikTok was conquering the world, until it became the victim of a new Cold War between China and Donald Trump, who wants it bought out – or shut down
With no hard evidence of abuse, are bans warranted? The real security concerns will likely come after the ban goes into effect, researchers said in our exclusive roundtable.
TikTok’s Chinese owner has fought tooth and nail to keep control over its wildly popular platform for dancing teens and young Los Angeles influencers. One big reason: The days of fast internet fortunes and meteoric digital growth in its home market may be coming to an end.
Lacking a powerful technology sector of its own, the European Union has instead tried to carve out a space in the digital economy as the world’s regulatory superpower, leading the charge on privacy rights and data protection by leveraging its enormous single market against Goliaths like Google and Facebook.
China is also growing more adept at targeting campaign workers. But contrary to Trump administration warnings, Beijing is mostly aiming at Biden campaign officials.
A vital connection for the Chinese diaspora, the app has also become a global conduit of Chinese state propaganda, surveillance and intimidation. The United States has proposed banning it.
On most days, companies like ByteDance, Microsoft, Walmart and Oracle are considered kings within their fields. But over the weekend, it became increasingly clear that they can also be something else: a set of pawns.