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The Trump Administration's Tik Tok Ban: A Matter of US-China Rivalries

Throughout these past two decades, the People’s Republic of China has risen from the poverty-inflicting Asian financial crisis of 1998 into rivaling the United States of America as the highest economic superpower in the globe. A primary factor responsible for this great development would be their entry into the World Trade Organization and the Qualified Foreign Institutional investor program around the year 2000, that of which would allow foreign investors to partake with the country in the stock exchange and trade. Of course, in this day of age, globalization is key to economic growth among nations, with China being no exception, hence why they would agree to these strategic decisions.

With China being the abovementioned second economic superpower in the globe, there are bound to be some great effects. Like most of the world in a China-dominated economy, the social media and electronics business sector has felt their presence, with companies such as Riot Games and Epic Games, developers of international hits such as Fortnite and League of Legends being close to completely owned by Tencent, China’s national entertainment giant. Another great example would be Tik Tok, a Chinese social media app that has spread like wildfire among international waters, having a monthly user base of 2.7 billion people; it has also become very well-known among American teens.

One of the primary concerns of Trump’s campaign was to decrease China’s grasp on American businesses, putting “America First” on top of other issues at hand. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly, knowing Trump’s incompetence, something especially highlighted throughout this coronavirus pandemic), his job at securing trade negotiations with countries such as India for example have failed, primarily due to aggressive tariffs on imports and exports, especially considering China’s far more flexible negotiations, hence why China is India’s largest importer as of right now.

So, it seems that banning Tik Tok is an attempt as a retribution effort, as doing so under the facade of protecting our internet privacy seems as tenuous as glass when you consider the ubiquity of the America Patriot Act, a legislation that was passed by George W. Bush and reinforced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump that has led to an increase law-enforced surveillance and information sharing. It is even more ironic, knowing that these attempts at combatting terrorism have no proof of being successful in any way. And another of the many ways to debunk this privacy protection front that the Trump administration oh so claims is to bring up their military contracts with tech-giants like Google, in which they are provided with millions of people’s user information and etcetera.

It has been announced that Tik Tok will partner up with Oracle, a large American tech company. However, the question at hand is the following: will this hurt China, or will it backfire and hurt the US instead?

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