Pop Culture

Joe Biden May Have Saved TikTok to Let It Die Another Day

The president rolled back Donald Trump’s chaotic orders banning the wildly popular app—but put his own investigative process in place.

Donald Trump’s threats to ban TikTok and WeChat made for semi-hysterical reactions from internet-famous stars, but they also marked one of the frontlines of his cold war with China over technology. Trump’s executive order in August alleged that TikTok “automatically captures vast swaths of information” from users and “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information—potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”

Joe Biden revoked that order on Wednesday, replacing it with an order of his own to launch a national security review of apps linked to China and other adversarial nations. Whereas Trump’s order was relatively scattershot, experts told The New York Times, Biden’s establishes a concrete process, making it in some ways more stringent, despite the lack of overt threats. “It’s a bit of a troll to the Trump administration approach, which was exposed in court as being a bit of a hollow process,” attorney Brian Fleming, who focuses on national security and international trade matters, told the Times.

In the lead-up to Trump’s ban, ByteDance, the controlling company of TikTok, had been under heavy pressure to sell if it wished to continue operating in the U.S. marketplace. A number of American corporate entities, including Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart, were in talks to buy TikTok, but no such deal was ever made. Confronted with the push to sell TikTok, the Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned the pitch. “When we see the U.S. pulling maneuvers of economic bullying and political manipulation over non-U.S. companies, we see typical ‘coerced transaction by the government’ and ‘forced transaction by the government,’ which is nothing short of broad daylight robbery,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at the time.

For now, ByteDance is still working with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to craft a data-protection deal that would satisfy American officials—namely by offering concrete proof that the Chinese government is not storing and accessing the data of TikTok’s American users. While the app’s privacy policy informs users that their information can be collected by TikTok, ByteDance has specifically claimed that the data is being stored in the U.S.

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair       

— The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins
Ben Crump Is Thriving in Biden’s Washington
— Why It’s Not a Great Time to Be Matt Gaetz
— AOC’s Endorsement Could Change the NYC Mayor’s Race—But It May Never Come
Trump Has Been Telling People He’s Going to Be President Again
— Is Juan Williams’s Exit From The Five Thanks to a Greg Gutfeld Blood Feud?
Republicans’ Reason Not to Want to Investigate January 6: They’re to Blame
Trump’s Inner Circle Is Scrambling at the Likelihood of Criminal Charges
— From the Archive: 60 Minutes Is Going Down”

— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Here’s the One Thing Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson’s Split Does Not Change
Lil Nas X Talks “MONTERO” Video Controversy on Desus & Mero: Watch
Top TV Execs Reveal How They Dealt With Anxiety & Change During Pandemic & Shout Out Empowering Mentors – ATX
Joe Biden Quickly Corrects Himself After Calling President Putin ‘President Trump’: Watch 
‘Cat Person’: Emilia Jones & Nicholas Braun To Star In Short Story Adaptation For Studiocanal & Imperative — Cannes Market

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *