BEIJING, Aug. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by China.org.cn on America's recent forced acquisition of TikTok:
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the United States on July 31, citing a "national security risk." Just two days later, Trump said that he would give ByteDance, the app's Chinese parent company, 45 days to negotiate a sale to Microsoft. The next day, he reiterated his threat to ban TikTok if the sale falls through and claimed that a "substantial portion" of the sale should go into the U.S. Treasury.
It's far-fetched to link TikTok, a short-video sharing app, to national security. In fact, TikTok gained much traction after entering the U.S. market. It has ranked highly for downloads during the coronavirus pandemic, and in-app purchase revenue in America also surged. However, the Trump administration made a presumption of guilt without evidence. They first threatened to "ban" and then forced ByteDance to sell TikTok's U.S. operations, which is driven by political trade-offs and implies an intention to snatch business interests under the guise of "acquisition" and "national security." America's reasoning seems to be as follows: China shouldn't have an edge over the U.S. If it does, the U.S. should grab the economic pie.
Behind this logic lies political calculation. The United States, as a superpower, is uncomfortable with the rise of emerging countries such as China. Using all of its tools, the U.S. is trying to maintain its tech monopoly and ensure its economic dominance. Manipulated by politics, the principles of equality and non-discrimination have become empty words. The U.S. has been targeting at Chinese companies including Huawei and ByteDance, and the recent actions are no different than public intimidation and coercion.
Trump's about-face from "ban" to "acquisition" arrived amid the pressure of not alienating young users ahead of the presidential election. The fact that the United States, which claims to be the "leader of the free world," deems such a video-sharing app as a threat, clearly shows its lack of confidence.
This is not the first time that the United States has targeted at foreign companies. Japanese and French companies also had similar experiences. The recent attacks and slander against Huawei, and the ongoing "forced acquisition" of TikTok do trigger people to think about the U.S.'s true intention.
Acquisition of TikTok's US operations: What's behind it?