Tik Tok Bans: How Will This Change Things for Us?

The Trade War 


Since July 2018, we have witnessed the tension escalating between the two largest economies in the world and the so-called US-China trade war all started from imposing tariffs on each other’s country. (The US has been stating that the trade deficit with China has soared since 1985!) 

A number of tariffs were imposed and the most recent one targeted imported goods from meat to musical instruments, additionally hit various industries with trade commissions, telecommunications equipment being the highest (USD 19.1bn) along with computer circuit boards (USD 12.5bn), processing units (USD 5.6bn), and so on. This not only significantly weakened global expansion for all but both, directly and indirectly, affected many countries.  

It seemed like things were getting better between the two countries after they’ve agreed on the “phase one” deal signed in January when China pledged to boost US imports and strengthen intellectual property rules.

However, over recent months, China and the United States have once again acted like opposites when it came to governing the internet. The US stated that a lot of Mainland China-based apps (Tik Tok and WeChat) are sharing private information and data with the Chinese government and that they’re a concern to national security. 

Trump administration said that the apps could be used for disinformation campaigns which might benefit the ruling party in China. As the tension builds up, we now only have a couple of weeks to find out whether those apps will be removed from the US.


India VS China


Moreover, India has also banned 59 Chinese apps from the market after India and China have experienced border tensions back in May when troops clashed in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh. India confirmed that they lost 20 soldiers including a commanding officer and commented that Chinese-made apps are a danger to the country – and the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public orders.”


China’s Reaction to the Bans 


China has immediately reacted angrily to the United States’ bans on TikTok and WeChat by stating that the US is carrying out political manipulation and suppression. Additionally, as India has been the biggest driver of TikTok downloads (more than 600 million), China might suffer from unprecedented bans that could stymy China’s top, largest, untapped tech firms.

The US even brought up the issue by stating that the country will allow the usage of those apps if major tech firms like Microsoft or Oracle were to purchase the app in its entirety. 


What Next? 


The US is planning to ban the apps on the 15th of September unless an America-based company purchases the companies. This will affect the 100 million users in the US alone, however, many are expecting TikTok to cut some deals with the US government.

Although if the ban does take place, or happens in a somewhat similar way (such as block-listing TikTok as they did to against Huawei), it might restrict both countries’ companies selling and providing services to TikTok or any other Chinese apps, and eventually could affect  Apple and Google, in the long run. But again, for now, we won’t know anything for sure just yet – we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks!