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Monday, June 24, 2024
BusinessWarnings of “economic consequences” of banning TikTok in the United States

Warnings of “economic consequences” of banning TikTok in the United States

– Published on:

A report by Axios issued a stark warning, highlighting that the United States’ imposition of a ban on the TikTok application or its enforced sale could ignite far-reaching economic tensions between Washington and its adversaries on the global stage.

Axios astutely underscored that the actions taken by the United States could serve as a precedent for other nations to compel American corporations to divest their local operations or relinquish their technological advancements to foreign entities.

Beijing had warned Washington that the proposed ban on the app would “inevitably backfire,” according to Reuters.

On the preceding Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives resoundingly passed legislation mandating the separation of TikTok from its Chinese parent company, subject to the risk of prohibition within the United States.

A notable consensus emerged in the politically divided landscape of Washington as 352 representatives cast their votes in favor of the proposed legislation, while 65 opposed it.

The resounding approval of the bill by an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, coupled with the endorsement of the measure by US President Joe Biden, has sparked concerns regarding the potential banishment of the application. TikTok, a platform utilized by approximately 170 million individuals in the United States, faces the looming threat of prohibition in the coming months.

Anupam Chander, a distinguished law professor at Georgetown University, as cited by Axios, remarked, “We might turn out to have created a precedent that comes back to haunt us.”

Chander warned that rival nations could leverage the precedent set by the United States to compel American corporations to divest their local operations.

According to the Axios report, this “concern” is partly what drives some American technology companies, such as Meta, to remain relatively distant regarding the TikTok issue.

While Meta has previously engaged a public affairs firm to disseminate negative narratives surrounding TikTok’s content moderation challenges, it has refrained from actively advocating for a prohibition of the platform.

Applications owned by Meta, including WhatsApp and Instagram, frequently dominate the list of most downloaded apps in markets beyond the borders of the United States. These Meta-owned platforms compete with Chinese counterparts such as TikTok, CapCut, and Shein for user engagement and market share globally.

It’s worth noting that less than half of Meta’s revenue, specifically 45%, was generated from North America in the previous year.

As of 2024, data from Apptopia reveals that over a quarter, specifically 26, of the 100 most downloaded applications in the United States are owned by foreign entities. This marks a significant increase from the 20% recorded in 2021.

In July 2020, India banned 59 Chinese-developed apps, including TikTok, citing concerns about national security and data privacy. This move, fueled by escalating tensions between India and China, disrupted the lives of millions of Indian users and creators who relied on TikTok for entertainment and livelihood.

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Qamar Munawer
Qamar Munawer
Associate Editor at The Eastern Herald. Ar. Qamar Munawer is currently at Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg in Germany.

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