US elections: Trump’s Tiktok turnaround: Ban would help Facebook

US elections: Trump’s Tiktok turnaround: Ban would help Facebook

A possible Tiktok ban is an issue in the US election campaign: the service is popular among young users. Trump also needs their votes for re-election. Now Facebook is an “enemy of the people” for the Republican.

Former US President Donald Trump once wanted to ban the popular video app Tiktok from the USA because of his tough position towards China – but now he has changed his course. Trump, who wants to return to the White House for the Republicans in the November election, spoke out in an interview with the US broadcaster CNBC against a Tiktok ban, which the US Congress is currently negotiating across party lines.

Instead, Trump shot against Facebook: “Without Tiktok, Facebook can become bigger, and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people,” said Trump. Facebook would be a “beneficiary” of a Tiktok ban, said the 77-year-old. “There are a lot of young people who go crazy without Tiktok,” he said, adding: “There’s a lot of good and a lot of bad with Tiktok.”

The app is the only successful online platform in the West that does not come from the USA. It belongs to the Bytedance group from China. There are concerns in the US and Europe that the app could be misused by Chinese authorities to collect information about users.

However, the company always emphasizes that it does not see itself as a subsidiary of a Chinese company. Bytedance is 60 percent owned by Western investors. The company headquarters are on the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. Critics counter that the Chinese founders, with a share of 20 percent, maintained control thanks to higher voting rights and that Bytedance has a large headquarters in Beijing.

Draft law in progress

A bill is currently being drafted in the US House of Representatives, which Democrats and Republicans have prepared together. The document would give Tiktok owner Bytedance almost six months to relinquish control of the popular app. Otherwise, TikTok would be threatened with banishment from the app stores in the USA. The service claims to have 170 million users in the USA.

During his term as US President, Trump tried to force a sale of Tiktok’s US business to American investors with threats of a ban. But the plan failed.

US President Joe Biden has said he would support a Tikok ban if Congress passes such a law.

Source: Stern

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