3 minutes ago by la6471

This thread is hijacked by members of Chinese communist party - they are flagging all anti Chinese messages in this thread. Beware!!! My message got flagged just for saying that the CCP should discover the vaccine for Covid 19 and give democratic rights to people of China and someone flagged my message.

2 days ago by billfruit

As someone from the third world this leaves a very bad feeling if it happens. I do expect it runs into legal hurdles before that.

Neither Apple nor Google have found TikTok problematic enough to delist them from their app stores. Neither is there charges that TikTok may have broken US laws.

Banning something which hasn't broken US laws, on arbitrary grounds shouldn't be possible.

The President shouldn't have authority to ban anything at all let alone an app available through privately operated app stores.

Also dictating which apps an individual can install/not install shouldn't be the job of the Federal Government.

All indication is that the president does not have authority to execute an outright ban of the thing.

Also what alarms me the veil of secrecy on the procedings. The proceeding of the CFIUS should be made public in this regard.

At this point US is seemingly acting like a dictatorship with very less transparency.

Policies and decisions should be debated and argued before they are executed, not merely justified after the fact. That's what US and a few oher democracies have turned to doing in recent years.

Ultimately I feel that it is US who has been more to blame (contrary to much of Western media coverage) for the deteriorating US-China relationship, and drumming up the chorus for a new coldwar. Chinese policy seems to have not significantly changed in the last 5 years towards the US, but on the other hand US seemed ever more keen and eger to pursue a hostile attitude towards China.

With the pandemic and with genral economic malice affecting much of the world, I don't think a path of increasing hostility and conflict is what the world needs.

2 days ago by albacur

> Chinese policy seems to have not significantly changed in the last 5 years towards the US, but on the other hand US seemed ever more keen and eger to pursue a hostile attitude towards China.

For decades, China has blocked U.S. companies from fair competition, reneged on trade deals when it suits them, backed out of industrial partnerships after extracting the IP it deems useful, and generally been a bad trade partner.

I agree that the president shouldn't have authority to arbitrarily block a product or company (and ultimately he doesn't, he'll need broader support among elected officials), but it's absurd to suggest that the U.S. should blindly accept hostile behavior for decades on end without reacting, or else itself be labeled "hostile."

2 days ago by hajile

Look over the US bills for 2020. The only ones passing both Democrat House and Republican Senate are either coronavirus or China. The level of concern is so big that the Democrats basically did a rather public 180 on China during an important election year.

As far as the company, the President seems fully allowed to place restrictions on companies as foreign policy. If you're talking about the "American" part, it is owned by foreign entities, so the case still seems pretty good. Chinese spying on US citizens on US soil is definitely a foreign policy issue.

Obama's administration was known to walk up to companies with a rubber-stamped order to do whatever (usually spying on US citizens) and the place a gag order on the company so they couldn't even tell their users what was happening to them. If that was never challenged, I doubt this would be as preventing spying is certainly more moral than doing the spying.

2 days ago by wildrhythms

The rationale in your comment is unconvincing to me. If Tiktok is breaking the law, that should come to light and be actioned like any other company breaking the law; likewise TOS violations on respective app stores. I haven't seen any reports to suggest that Tiktok is breaking U.S. law, have you? And if the rationale is, as you suggested, a retaliation against 'bad behavior for decades', what precedent would banning Tiktok set for other non-U.S. owned apps and services?

2 days ago by albacur

My comment wasn't specific to TikTok, but rather OP's assertion that the U.S. is a hostile actor, whereas China is just being China.

Regarding TikTok, foreign-owned companies must follow U.S. laws, which are subject to due process. Additionally, they must not pose an imminent threat to national security. For better or worse, the government tends to be tight-lipped about matters of national security and isn't compelled to divulge details to the public. Normally, this is acceptable because we trust our government to act responsibility and in our best interest. Is TikTok a legitimate threat to security? I don't know, and with Trump's tendency to make everything look like a publicity stunt, my trust in the government to use its power responsibly is not very high.

2 days ago by undefined


2 days ago by shrimpx

It’s not about laws, it’s geopolitics.

2 days ago by ddevault

I haven't decided how I feel about the TikTok debate yet, but just to offer a better rationalization: foreign relations is the President's domain. Apps are one way that a country projects its soft power, and as such this might be applicable.

If TikTok was not a foreign-owned app, I don't think that Trump would have a leg to stand on, but because it is, I'm not entirely certain he doesn't.

2 days ago by quotemstr

The problem here isn't TikTok being banned. I couldn't care less about TikTok. The problem here is singling out an individual entity for punishment outside an established framework of laws just because we don't like it. You can be tough on China without becoming China.

Nobody is suggesting that China's trade policy go unchallenged. What I do want is a policy including evidence, recourse, and the possibility of compliance. I have seen no explanation whatsoever of why TikTok is so urgently terrible that we can't deal with whatever it is that the company is doing using rules --- and this strange silence is coming from people ordinarily keen on that old "government of laws, not men" principle. Everything is weird these days.

2 days ago by realusername

> The problem here isn't TikTok being banned. I couldn't care less about TikTok. The problem here is singling out an individual entity for punishment outside an established framework of laws just because we don't like it. You can be tough on China without becoming China.

Even without talking about morality or Chinese laws, TikTok could just be banned as trade retaliation. It's very common outside of tech, if a country closes down their market, they generally face retaliation on their foreign markets.

But yes I do agree with you on that, it should be done using an official retaliation policy, not just tweeted by the US president...

2 days ago by hhsuey

> You can be tough on China without becoming China.

Honest question. Do you know how this could be done? I'm not too familiar with foreign affairs.

2 days ago by Thorrez

> but it's absurd to suggest that the U.S. should blindly accept hostile behavior for decades on end without reacting, or else itself be labeled "hostile."

That's not absurd at all. Just because your enemy behaves badly doesn't make it acceptable for you to behave badly.

2 days ago by albacur

It makes it acceptable to defend yourself. If you want claim the president shouldn't have sole authority to ban foreign companies or products, that's fair. And I don't know that he actually has that power, it could all be bluster. I mean, he also said he would make Mexico pay for a border wall.

2 days ago by tguedes

This is geopolitics, not grade school.

2 days ago by seanmcdirmid

Not that it justifies our behavior, but I can’t help but cringe a bit when considering how China locks American companies out of its market but expects better access for Chinese companies in the American market. America-Chinese relations started going downhill in 2009 when China thought it prudent to start blocking most Americans services, America just took a decade to follow up with similar bad behavior.

2 days ago by brightball

Agreed completely. The degree of pressure that China applies outside of software is also very unsettling. The latest episode with the NBA allowing players to promote social causes on their uniforms for example...unless you’re supporting Hong Kong or Taiwan. It’s appalling.

2 days ago by pm90

America applies diplomatic pressure too, for the things it finds important. This is how international politics work.

2 days ago by jcadam

What's an NBA?

But seriously, I'd like to say I'm boycotting professional basketball, but I never really watched it anyway.

2 days ago by billfruit

Really this move seems nothing related at all to US companies not having sufficient access to China. If then why this 10 year gap from action to reaction. Many here seems to take this particular view of this move being a retaliation of some sort, but I feel that is a naive view of what US is doing here and how it will be perceived around the world.

Put in specific data protection/privacy laws and regulations applicable to all players, not hound a single company without being able to prove any wrong doing in their part, or offering them a fair, due process.. it seems all arbitrary, discriminatory.. wrong in principle.. yet seems to cheered on by some, merely because it gives a semblance of going one up over a perceived adversary.

Retaliation or not, it is essentially arbitrary act, insufficiently justified in an open society.

International politics being driven with the ethos of a school playground.

2 days ago by the8472

> If then why this 10 year gap from action to reaction.

Perhaps due to a change in administration to one that is willing to engage in retaliation because globalisation is less popular with its voter base.

> Put in specific data protection/privacy laws and regulations applicable to all players, not hound a single company without being able to prove any wrong doing in their part,

The argument here is that china's protectionist trade practices should normally be addressed through the WTO but that was seen as ineffective because any compliance efforts were in name only.

TPP might have addressed some of this, but that was also dropped due to public opinion.

2 days ago by manfredo

Politics moves slowly. 10 years is barely more than 1 presidency.

China bans Facebook despite the company offering to comply with censorship/propaganda rules (and Zuckerberg even offering Xi to name his child). The ban is unambiguously due to strategic concerns over a foreign company having access to user data. The change in US policy towards Chinese apps is not retaliation, it's just the US coming to the same conclusion as China that letting rivals foreign powers control media companies is unwise.

2 days ago by benchen70

China can do whatever it wants, US can do whatever it wants. Whatever a country wants to do has nothing to do with how it governed, law or not. Law is a set of communally mutually agreed upon rules, so a society can function. However, the key is the word "communal", as in - which community is agreeing upon this law. China can complain that the new laws in the US is illegitimate, but the laws are made by Americans for Americans. Of course the law is not going to extend outside US, for example, they do not dictate what some Canadian company operating in Canada can do. But, in the US, these laws are there for Americans, for American soil, under the territory that the US government formally rules over. Of course, the US makes these rules, because it is its sovereign right to do so. China has no authority over how or why this law is made. Just like the US has no authority to say how Chinese government creates laws.

But then again, China likes to say “Do not interfere in our internal matters”; the US can say the same thing.

I am not American by the way, so have no beef in this.

So hey, I am all popcorns on this at the moment. The next few years are going to be interesting.

2 days ago by toomuchtodo

How else would you negotiate with a bully like China? America is a bully too, but without Uighur concentration camps, fleets of fishing vessels farming the sea to extinction, outrageous claims over the South China Sea, etc.

You can only turn a blind eye so long to a competitor’s unreasonable actions (in this scope, IP/trade secrets and the like). As a US citizen, I endorse any actions intended to remove or subdue CCP influence, power, and control (domestically or internationally). None of this comment should be construed as a sleight against the Chinese people in aggregate.

2 days ago by getmeoutofhere

China's actions are actually legal under 1. WTO rules which allow developing nations to have some sort of protectionism to foster their own industries, and 2. Their own laws, which companies can choose to abide by.

Google and Facebook were never wholesale banned by China. You can see this with the fact that Google tried to re-enter China with project Dragonfly (a China-law compliant search engine), until it internally became politically unfeasible. Note that Microsoft operates Bing in China, and Yahoo as well.

2 days ago by seanmcdirmid

Google trying to re enter China has no bearing on whether or not they were banned or are banned.

And actually, I was living in China when Facebook stopped working, and I was living in China when google.com stopped working, and when google.cn stopped working. And you are right, they were never officially banned, China would never admit to that, they just used the GFW to make them stop working and commenced a lot of work to make VPNs troublesome to use as well.

Yes, Microsoft operates Bing. But you can’t access gmail through it.

2 days ago by nsporillo

At what point is China no longer considered a developing country? I think the argument is since they're now at least the second largest economy in the world, they no longer deserve all the special protections.

2 days ago by chrischen

Because we believe in the free market and they believe in a controlled market?

I mean, are you suggesting we also move the planned economy model because China is right? It’s not like we adopted a free market model for the benefit of foreign interests... it’s simply a better model (in our belief) for creating a healthy economy.

2 days ago by arrosenberg

> Because we believe in the free market and they believe in a controlled market?

We pay lip service to the free market, but in practice we believe in controlled, privately owned markets and China believes in controlled, state owned markets.

2 days ago by mcji

While US corps predominate,free market is better. Otherwise, controlled market is better. /s

2 days ago by undefined


2 days ago by dkobia

As much as I agree and being from a "third world" country myself, I can still remember China banning Facebook and Google in 2009/2010. Everyone has had to bend over backwards to gain access to the Chinese market while giving them free reign to the rest of the world.

2 days ago by KaoruAoiShiho

No they didn't, both Facebook and Google decided to quit themselves. Remember Dragonfly? Google just tried to get back into China THIS YEAR and was blocked by the US government. It's the US that's closing access to China not the other way around.

2 days ago by albacur

Wrong, Facebook was blocked in China following the July 2009 Ürümqi riots because Facebook refused to release information about Xinjiang independence activists.

In March 2009, China blocked access to Google's YouTube due to footage showing Chinese security forces beating Tibetans. Access to other Google online services was denied to users arbitrarily.

The search engine remained operational under the condition that the government could filter the search results. In January 2010, Google announced that, in response to a Chinese-originated hacking attack on them and other US tech companies, they were no longer willing to censor searches in China and would pull out of the country completely.

Also, the government didn't "block" Dragonfly. Google terminated the project after its own employees protested it and politicians criticized it.

(All the above from Wikipedia either as direct quotes or paraphrased for brevity.)

2 days ago by georgeburdell

> Remember Dragonfly? Google just tried to get back into China THIS YEAR and was blocked by the US government.

Could you substantiate this claim? Regarding China and Dragonfly, I only remember there being employee and governmental criticism, but no outright ban from doing business in China: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/27/google-...

2 days ago by andrewPP

Facebook and Google quit China because they didn't want to obey the speech control policy which not as democratic as in the U.S. They could have continued to operate in China had they chosen to follow the rules set up by Chinese regulators.

With the TikTok it is a different story. They are willing to obey all laws of US and the Trump admistration still wants to ban it without sound reason.

This is ridiculous from my point of view because the authoritarian Chinese government allows the US companies to operate in China when they follow their rules, but the democratic US government doesn't allow Chinese companies to operate in the US when they do obey US laws.

The only explanation to me is that the president is thinking in a way similar to curing COVID with disinfectant injection.

2 days ago by fennecfoxen

How facile to compare the situations of companies "when they follow [China's] rules" and "when they obey US laws" as if they are equivalent.

America is being arbitrary, capricious, and unfair, in contradiction to the neutral and generally applicable law in America. But China's legal system has been arbitrary and capricious for decades, and is rotten to the core, consistently elevating the whims of the ruling party over rights and due process.

To use nonsense numbers: the US is designed to be 0% arbitrary but is being 20% arbitrary here. China is designed to be 90% arbitrary all the time. Clearly means China can keep out all the firms and be virtuous, but when the US keeps out any firms for any reason they're unfair and wicked!

2 days ago by partiallypro

> Ultimately I feel that it is US who has been more to blame (contrary to much of Western media coverage) for the deteriorating US-China relationship, and drumming up the chorus for a new coldwar. Chinese policy seems to have not significantly changed in the last 5 years towards the US, but on the other hand US seemed ever more keen and eger to pursue a hostile attitude towards China.

In what universe? The Chinese global stance has changed drastically over the past 5 years, and they have continued to deteriorate western companies and forced companies to appease their government, or the CCP will ban those companies, steal their IP and clone then. So far not a single soul has stood up to them, for fear of losing out. They've expanded their power in the South China Sea, laying claim to land and passages that aren't theirs at all and never have been. They fund North Korea as a satellite state to antagonize its neighbors, and turn in people that escape back to NK so they can be put in slave camps. The new security law gives them reach beyond their own borders to crack down on people that criticize the CCP. Not to mention they have literal concentration camps where they are harvesting organs, hair, using them as slave labor and stealing their possessions. Ask other Asian countries how they feel about China's slow and steady encroachment of their authoritarian regime that is anti-freedom.

2 days ago by nobody0

> In what universe?

I don't know, maybe the one where the U.S. constantly suprises the world in the last few years.

2 days ago by partiallypro

Strangely another account with few comments/karma, but almost all defending China. At least on HN, this is a recent phenomena.

2 days ago by getmeoutofhere

> Not to mention they have literal concentration camps where they are harvesting organs, hair, using them as slave labor and stealing their possessions.

If you dig into this deeper, this is literally fake news. The sources for these claims are either the World Uighur Congress, a NED funded organization, or Adrian Zenz, a Christian fundamentalist who believes in the rapture, is Anti-LGBT, and praised the Nazis.

If you are so inclined, you can actually visit Xinjiang yourself and ask Uighurs there about the situation. China has been actively been encouraging foreign inspectors to visit Xinjiang to see the situation.

Given that America was wrong (or blatantly lied) about WMDs, Iraqis stealing incubators, Iraqis murdering babies in Kuwait, and is a geopolitical rival to China, Im doubtful about some of these claims.

2 days ago by wadkar

> If you are so inclined, you can actually visit Xinjiang yourself and ask Uighurs there about the situation. China has been actively been encouraging foreign inspectors to visit Xinjiang to see the situation.

Oh that sounds news to me. I was under the impression that no foreign media was allowed to freely roam and report in Xinjiang.

Can you please share your sources and any instances of foreign to China (and perhaps non US like say EU/India/Australia/Arabic etc.) media coverage in Xinjiang?

2 days ago by partiallypro

You have to be joking. There have been Uighurs that have escaped, there have been journalists that have gone there...the Uighur population in that province is DOWN 90%, nearly overnight. We have video, satellite evidence, evidence of slavery, evidence of their hair being sold on the market, of their organs being sold on the market. You're either an agent of China or have fallen victim to their lies. After reading your bio, I'm not surprised that it's full of comments defending the CCP.

2 days ago by volgo

The interesting thing is that these platforms come and go. One year it’s Vine, another year it’s Snap, now it’s TikTok. ByteDance bought musically for $1B in 2017 and turned it into Tok.

3 years later, it’s grown like crazy because it’s the latest fad and would be smart for them to cash out before the next new thing hits

The whole divestment thing is probably a godsend for ByteDance, “forcing” them to liquidate their stake, but in reality let’s them cash out on an overhyped app that’s easy to copy

Must be laughing all the way to the bank

2 days ago by kerng

I think you underestimate the popularity and potential of TikTok and ByteDance at large.

It's like Facebook, maybe around 2010-2012, with enormous upward potential - they might even dethrone Facebook and their offerings in the coming years. For the core Facebook app, I wouldnt be surprised if they did that already in a couple of countries.

2 days ago by philsnow

The promise of "upward potential" of every one of these social media fads is that it could be the "last" one, the Big One that websites and captures every following generation.

Do you think that TikTok is The Big One, that will still be growing at the same rate in ten years' time? I don't.

Myspace and Facebook are shrinking. Some of the users leaving are going to TikTok, sure, but I don't think that means that it's better, it's just hotter right now.

2 days ago by spideymans

Of course TikTok won’t be growing at the same rate in 10 years time. That doesn’t mean it won’t still be a huge platform, however.

In fact, I’d wager that, it TikTok plays their cards right, the platform could be bigger than YouTube within five years or so. I know it sounds crazy now, but there is nothing that dictates that YouTube’s model is the best for delivering democratized video publishing to the masses.

I find that a lot of these Gen Z kids don’t have the patience to sit thru a five or 10 minute YouTube video (and I can’t really blame them; how much time have you wasted watching YouTube videos that ended up being clickbait garbage?). They’d rather have the information condensed down into a 90 second video, and TikTok is perfectly designed to serve those viewing habits.

I know the popular perception of TikTok (from those that don’t use it) is that it just hosts trendy dance videos, but TikTok creators are publishing essentially all the same genres of content we see on YouTube. You can find everything from dance videos to home improvement tutorials on the service. Furthermore, more and more YouTube creators are moving over to TikTok. I view the service as the single biggest threat we’ve seen to YouTube since it’s rise to popularity.

I suspect TikToks next big move will be into YouTube’s bread and butter: official music videos. Their user interaction model lends itself extremely well into music discovery.

Also, most fundamentally, there’s only 24 hours in a day. Every hour spent on TikTok is one hour not spent on YouTube or a competing service.

2 days ago by mgraczyk

Facebook is shrinking in some countries, but globally it is still growing in both usage and activity. Check out their recent quarterly results.

2 days ago by zanny

Importantly its because kids don't want to be a part of the "old" culture. They actively reject entering places with an older established demographic because they want to define their own spaces.

Tiktok by its nature cannot maintain the momentum it has with kids 14-18 now with the kids that are currently 8-12. They will reject it no matter what Tiktok does because thats how kids are conditioned in the west to behave.

2 days ago by albacur

The pet rock was a fad.

Online companies, like brick and mortar companies, rise and fall. And even if Facebook's best days are behind it, I'm not sure we can call a business that grew for nearly 15 years and is now used by billions of people a "fad." Regardless, it generated unfathomable wealth for its founders, and made thousands of employees financially set for life.

If TikTok could capture that, it doesn't matter if it lasts five years or ten years, the people at the top will become very, very rich.

So I think both commenters above are correct: it has huge potential upside that investors are willing to gamble on, and it probably won't become the next Facebook so it might be worth it for the current owners to cash out now.

2 days ago by patrickaljord

TikTok is not overhyped, it is here to stay, that's why they want to ban it. It's still growing like crazy and is way way more entertaining than any other social network by a long shot.

2 days ago by dkersten

> it is here to stay

That's what I heard about plenty of social platforms like this. Everyone thought Vine was here to stay too. Everyone thought Myspace was here to stay. Snapchat was huge at one point and now I no longer know anybody who still uses it. Maybe it will be like Facebook, but there's a big chance it won't. It's huge now, but its still relatively niche appeal in the grand scheme of tings. These things appear to be fickle. We will see.

2 days ago by trca

Just because you don't know anyone that uses Snapchat doesn't make that an authoritative source on popularity of a company. Snap's user base has grown consistently and show's no signs of slowing down, even against increase competition in the space (https://www.statista.com/statistics/545967/snapchat-app-dau/). TikTok is the "Vine replacement" since Vine was bought by Twitter and shutdown. Vine wasn't a "fad" that faded away, it was actively shutdown by its parent company, likely would still exist to this day in a non-insignificant way had that not happen.

2 days ago by moscovium

> Everyone thought Vine was here to stay too.

Vine was loved and was shut down by a part time CEO.

> Snapchat was huge at one point and now I no longer know anybody who still uses it.

People under 25 still love and use snapchat.

Tiktok has 80 million MAUs, and is becoming the tool of cultural influence in the same way the Instagram did. I wouldn't underestimate the staying power of tiktok.

2 days ago by op03

They are fickle sort of like a Hurricane. Feels like over the last 20 year we have learnt how to scale things up quick i.e. spin up a hurricane.

What the hurricane does after its created or whether its controllable at all no one really knows. Making room for the type of characters who will claim they can control hurricanes. Expect these people to show up and disappear as these hurricanes spin up and fizzle out.

That said, I just hope figuring out whether hurricanes can be controlled doesn't take too many more years, and happens without too many more unpredictable side effects.

2 days ago by odyssey7

> Maybe it will be like Facebook

Speaking about Facebook the website (separate from Instagram and WhatsApp), I'd give it 50/50 odds that a major decline in market position will start by 2030. If it doesn't happen, it will be attributed to very strategic leadership.

2 days ago by m3kw9

The type of entertainment TikTok provides is getting tiring. Is like fb videos on turbo. Sugar high can only last so long

2 days ago by akhilcacharya

I'm 24 and my iPhone tells me I spend 2 hours on TikTok a day. This is up from about a year and a half ago, when i consumed it exclusively in YouTube compilations.

Their targeting and algorithmic curation is extremely, scary good.

2 days ago by Kelteseth

Maybe you are just not the target audience here? YouTube also has videos like TikTok and it still has a bazillion users...

2 days ago by hourislate

It exposes the level of mental illness in America and around the world.

You have teens threatening to kill themselves if it gets banned. What will all these girls do if they can't get some attention and a dopamine hit every few hours. Woman are taking to Tik Tok and posting farewells crying and dancing. Some are even threatening the President.

The app is poison but perhaps it's no worse than Insta, Twatter and FB and all social media.

How many lives this shit ruins everyday, little by little is unimaginable. People living in the digital world instead of the real one.

2 days ago by CPLX

The most successful global consumer-facing company in world history sells sugar water.

2 days ago by rvz

The problem is with this specific demographic is they will grow out of TikTok and eventually stop using it due to fatigue or strange reasons like their parents joining in.*

This happened with Snap, Vine, YikYak, etc. They will just move on to the next social network craze that doesn't have their parents, grandparents or their next door neighbours friending you. Rinse and repeat.

* The exception to this rule is unless your parents is a Kardashian / West, Musk, or an Obama or some other famous celebrity.

2 days ago by shigawire

YikYak killed itself with changes that no on wanted or needed. Vine was killed by Twitter.

Otherwise I agree in principle but your examples aren't good.

2 days ago by cscurmudgeon

> TikTok is not overhyped, it is here to stay

The only constant in social apps is that the "apps that are here to stay" do not stay.

2 days ago by meddlepal

> an overhyped app that’s easy to copy

If only I could have a nickel every time someone on HN says something like this.

This site sometimes... smh

2 days ago by Sivart13

I heard people say this about Facebook for years, that it was just the next Myspace and it would be gone in a year. Platforms are temporary until they're not.

2 days ago by oblio

The thing is, people really mistake the Wild West days of a market with the mature days. People were saying the same thing about Windows, for example, back in the 1990s. Stuff like:

"Back in the day we had Commodore and Amiga and many other platforms that slowly died, Windows will go their way. Unix will outlast it and kill it off."

30 years later and you could base a Fortune 500 company off of Windows, alone.

Same story with Facebook. People are comparing things to the pre-Facebook days without realizing that social media is a lot more mature now. They're presenting Snapchat as a failure when it's still growing (in users and revenue), Orkut as an example of a rise and fall when it was only popular in Brazil, while Tik Tok is global.

Tik Tok seems to have carved a niche in a pretty mature market. That's hard to do.

2 days ago by AlexandrB

So is Facebook temporary and TikTok is going to take over or is Facebook here to stay and TikTok is temporary? This seems like a zero-sum game for the most part.

2 days ago by patrickaljord

It's not, Facebook is mostly email with pictures and is here to stay. TikTok may be eating Instagram's lunch though.

2 days ago by pknerd

US is doing with China what China did with them. American VCs and business men used to criticize and mock Chinese government for it. Since US is following the footsteps of China, I wonder whether Chinese will be doing what US VCs did?

2 days ago by RavlaAlvar

If US successfully force China to open market, that would be a win for everyone. Of course though, this situation would only occur in fantasy land.

2 days ago by tslling

I don't think this will make China more open, because even banning Huawei did not make China reflect on its open policy. IMO, Huawei is more close to Chinese government compred to Bytedance, and I saw much less comments from top officer or state-owned medias about this acquisition compraed to that about Huawei.

2 days ago by robert_foss

Thinking that US market forces will open the chinese market after decades of failing to have that effect seems rather naive.

2 days ago by jariel

It's not 'US market forces' that will open China, and it never was.

It was the opportunity to expand into global economic markets, with a certain perspective in mind, ballpark along the lines of Western Liberal Democracy and Economy.

The Asian countries that followed this path after WW2 were enormously succesfull: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan.

They are basically beacons of prosperity surrounded by economic mayhem.

China chose 'it's own path' - which is fine - and there are probably many advantages to the central planning early on (those other nations did that, Korea was an authoritarian state and then opened eventually, kind of 'part of a plan') - but of course the CCP has another agenda, they don't want to cede power, and China has a different historical view of itself which is not just a function of CCP propaganda.

I think it is literally at this very point wherein the 'advantage' of autocracy is starting to be a disadvantage, and that a degree of opening up would actually beneficial.

Basically - once you get the 'easy investments' done - like roads, bridges, and you succesfull rip off everyone else's IP and are 'to some extent caught up' - then the plan starts to falter. At some point, you have to 'lead' - and it takes a different kind of approach. At least in many areas, though we should not underestimate them.

There are no obvious economic choices for China now and their 'old plan' won't work. Putting Uyghers in jail, grabbing S. China sea, getting into pissing matches with India and Japan - none of this will bear fruits.

The 'Belt and Road' is actually one 'grand strategy' that a central power like China could have that America could never have (takes a couple decades of consistent vision) - but it seems that the heavy handedness and deep corruption of the system won't allow for it.

Geopolitically, people 'love to hate on America' in the press and in propaganda, but when 'push comes to shove' there is nobody who doesn't understand what side they would rather be on, both pragmatically and for the sake of the good of everyone.

Though Trump is a dufous and blow-hard (sorry), he is actually the only Western leader with the 'crazy like a fox' to take on China, and he's absolutely right to ban TikTok and other entities.

Basically - the West needs to apply trade rules with China that are exactly tit for tat: China doesn't allow foreign competition in certain areas - then we ban that. They don't allow ownership, then we ban that. They have a lot of controls over content, then we do as well - we ban everything remotely related to the Chinese state. They require foreign companies to fork over IP, and then give it to local champions - then we do as well.

Imagine how the world would react if the US required Huawei to give up all it's IP, held it up in bureaucracy for years, while they gave the IP to Cisco, and then the Treasury and the Fed financed Cisco and their international customers, while the US diplomatic corps acted both as a sales team for Cisco, and did economic espionage to thwart competitors outright?

That would be 'fair'.

There is a Canadian company [1] that lost a contract to the Canadian government for airport scanners - the Chinese bid was 25% lower. The complaint was that the Canadian company would never be allowed to bid on such a sensitive contract in China, moreover, there were state subsidies. How on earth is this fair or free trade? It's not. If China won't allow external bidders for airport security tools - we don't allow them either.

It's really almost a paradox to understand why even China has been able to maintain such a lop-sided advantage.

It started 30 years ago, when China was so poor that the West basically accepted the asymmetrical terms of trade. Like a frog in cool water that's getting warmer never thinks to jump out - Western entities have not been able to 'get it together' to change the terms. China has been acting very aggressively against anyone who speaks out, and of course, we have the useful idiots in the West who will proclaim that any antagonism towards China must be 'racism' etc..

It's just only right now starting to cross a tipping point wherein you see bits of world leaders actually starting to push back collectiely. Merkel or Trudeau might say one small thing, then they see the reaction, then others will say something else.

COVID and the China coverup has presented basically a catalyst for this, wherein it has been fully legit to publicly criticise China because they did act poorly and it cost ostensibly a lot of lives.

Though the Dems actually have not really been against Trump's China aggression, they may not be likely to spearhead it. They are just far to 'systematically naive'. Even if many Dems individually realise what needs to be done - they do not, organisationally, have the political will. Biden might say a few things here and there, but the momentum is unlikely to continue. It takes a certain kind of 'political courage' and consistently so - with a lot of people on board to re-articulate the relationship with China - I'm wary that Biden & his team will be able to do it. Their economic team I feel just won't have enough true hardball players and I don't mean 'jerks for the sake of being jerks' - I mean 'realpolitik' players who can apply the hard rules necessary with China, that would otherwise seem out of place in a modern world.

Have a quick glance at the difference between Obama/Trump trade advisors Froman [2] and Navarro [3]. Night and Day. (FYI I'm not saying I support either, just highlighting the difference)

[1] https://nationalpost.com/news/chinese-government-owned-firm-...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Froman

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Navarro

2 days ago by ericmay

Active versus passive approach

2 days ago by chenzhekl

I don't think this move has anything to do with forcing China to open the market.

2 days ago by peacefulhat

Making the US less open will not make China more open.

2 days ago by generatorguy

What if the US and allies are Less open to China, and offer to me more open again if China also is more open?

2 days ago by moneywoes

Can you fill us in what they did for those who are uninformed?

2 days ago by sushshshsh

Chinese government didn't allow people in China to use US services (Google, Twitter, FB) and instead invested and marketed Chinese "clones" of these businesses (Tencent, Weibo, Baidu).

Now that the Chinese owned TikTok is such a desirable app to use in the USA, the US government is blocking it in a similar fashion.

To be honest it's all quite petty.

2 days ago by temporalparts

I wouldn't call it petty; these platforms control access to information and there's a huge ideological (figurative) battle between the US and China.

2 days ago by hw

Wouldn't this embolden other countries to ban US made apps or tech unless they 'sell' a stake to their local companies? EU for example.

2 days ago by slowmovintarget

Where have you heard the US government is blocking the app? The gigantic security issues have been because the US government doesn't block apps like this.

It can forbid government workers from using it on government-provided devices. This is sensible due to the capabilities for arbitrary code execution and the full permissions to the device the app requires of the user. Amazon has done that with their employees as well. But the US government doesn't have a Great Firewall. Even if they wanted to, they couldn't ban or block it.

Edit: Apologies. I mistook the unlikelihood of anything like this being effective as reason enough for no one (let alone the President) to make statements like this. I stand corrected.

2 days ago by rtx

I don't think primary driver for this move is US it looks like to be coming from the Indian ban. India had 120 million active TikTok users. It was one of the fastest growing apps there.

2 days ago by volgo

Not really. India really has very little clout in today’s digital economy. There’s a ton of users, but very little money to be made there since it’s a relatively poor country

2 days ago by bigpumpkin

AirBnB's business in China doesn't look so attractive anymore.

2 days ago by brandonmenc

Future startup biz strategy:

Chinese company makes huge viral app for the US market, and lets everyone stoke rumors that it's a spying platform. US gov't tosses a huge subsidy at whatever domestic company can acquire it at any cost - in the interest of national defense - resulting in massive overvalued purchase. China pockets the profits. Rinse, repeat.

2 days ago by smilekzs

But isn't it more likely that said Chinese company will have little to none leverage in the talks, because the choice is between getting banned or getting bought at a token (read: undervalued) price?

2 days ago by Spivak

Potentially but their negotiating position is shutting down completely which would be a loss for a potential acquiring company. I'm sure that TT stole some users from YT, IG, and Tumblr but largely creators are posting everywhere so their existence just increases the size of the pie.

2 days ago by cma

That assumes the buyers aren't in competition with each other, and just one possible buyer is pre-chosen.

2 days ago by LordFast

Selling paranoia is good business these days.

2 days ago by nkingsy

If you can build a huge viral app, you’re already a billionaire.

2 days ago by schuke

I wonder if anyone know that TikTok is currently actively blocking access from Chinese users. Even with a US Apple ID, even with a VPN/Shadowsocks service, you cannot sign up TikTok as long as your phone is using a Chinese SIM card. I have to use an iPad.

What you have is something the internet has never seen: unlike Google having to censor its content within China, you now have a allegedly independent US company actively censoring the Chinese people on a social network that identifies itself as non-political, on US (or Free World) soil.

This is a type of censorship that's far worse than anything Google or Yahoo or Microsoft ever had to do. Imagine more and more Chinese-owned companies doing this world wide. This is just absolutely ugly practice that shouldn't be allowed to proliferate.

It's not only a national security issue. It's also a human rights hazard.

2 days ago by fermienrico

Umm...there is nothing remarkable about this. CCP wants their citizens to use a vetted service, that’s in full control and has surveillance capabilities.

They already ban YouTube, Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. amongst many other sites.

Tiktok has a local version for Chinese users I believe and Tiktok wants to make sure Chinese users do not sign up for international version of Tiktok app.

Tiktok is owned by ByteDance which is not a US firm. It’s based in China.

Am I missing something?

2 days ago by schuke

They used to do this within Chinese jurisdiction. Now they're doing it on United State soil.

2 days ago by tom-_-

FB, Google etc are also blocked when using a Chinese telecom's SIM card on "US soil" so what is the difference here?

2 days ago by MangoCoffee

Some people here think TikTok is a fad. I used to think FB is a fad but 16 years later. FB is still here. Not as shiny as it used to be but enough to make billions.

I don't know if TikTok is a fad and you don't either. If TikTok last more than 10 years. It already make back its cost and some more.

Heck, Snap is still around and it used to be a meme stock on WallStreetBets.

2 days ago by Latty

I'm always suspicious of anyone who says "this is a fad" who treats the thing with disdain. If you don't understand what people like about the thing, it seems unlikely you will be able to identify if that desire is going to fade quickly.

2 days ago by hhsuey

Agreed. Fad is a bit too much. However, maybe 5 or 10 more years. I think more and more people are moving away each year. It seems like it's my (older generation) that uses it.

2 days ago by AnonymousRider

Tired of the apologists for China. They have been taking advantage of our Western tradition of openness for far too long.

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