Bans

Trump Administration Formally Bans TikTok, WeChat Apps From Online Stores in U.S.

There’s nothing good about censoring communication platforms citizens want to use.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that it will, as threatened, implement a ban on the TikTok and WeChat apps, thus censoring tools Americans use to communicate each other while blaming it all on China's Communist rule.

As of Sunday, online mobile or app stores will not be able to distribute or update either WeChat or Tiktok. WeChat will further be banned from processing payments within the United States. This enacts President Donald Trump's August executive orders, in which he claimed that the two apps threaten the United States due to their parent company's ties to the Chinese government.

"At the President's direction, we have taken significant action to combat China's malicious collection of American citizens' personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a press release today.

Restricting which communication tools Americans can use in fact undermines American values and our "rules-based norms." It is more akin to how countries like China attempt to control how citizens can communicate.

"The Commerce Department's decision to bar transactions with TikTok and WeChat raises serious First Amendment concerns and should be scrutinized carefully by the courts," wrote Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight First Amendment Institute, following today's orders. "The Supreme Court held 50 years ago that the First Amendment protects Americans' right to access foreign media. This protection is no less important today. The privacy and security concerns with platforms like TikTok and WeChat are real, but we should be wary of setting a precedent that would give this president, and every future one, broad power to interfere with Americans' access to information and ideas from abroad."

The administration is being sued by both TikTok and at least one employee who works there over the broadness of Trump's order, arguing that this move violates their due process protections and fails to identify an actual threat. One of the suits notes that "TikTok is neither owned, operated, nor controlled by China or the Chinese government. Indeed, TikTok does not even operate in China."

Attempts to try to force the sale of TikTok to an American company such as Oracle have stalled, with Trump complaining that the U.S. government wouldn't get a cut of the sale.

Today's order will not stop Americans who have already downloaded the apps from using them, but it will make it harder others from downloading them.

The biggest "winners" of this order are neither the American public nor the Trump administration but the companies that provide virtual private networks, a.k.a. VPNs, which can be used to bypass government-mandated bans and firewalls. TechCrunch notes that whenever a country attempts to ban TikTok, VPN companies see a surge in customers looking for ways to bypass the rules.

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  1. I really hope that everyone here recognizes that this is the start of a scary trend, no matter which side you are on.

    1. It’s not as scary as you might think. I agree that it’s not good but I guarantee you that freedom is capable of surviving balkanization of the internet. Especially when said balkanization is enacted as such and not as a specific act against free speech.

      1. Especially especially given the absolute betrayal of principles and active disinforming of the public our current media performs.

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        2. You mean like boosting the Trump brand for 30+ years?
          Otherwise, so much for this admin. being opposed to gov. regulations.

      2. I’m less worried about balkanization of the Internet, and more worried about the government banning apps arbitrarily. Imagine the following two steps:

        1. End to end encryption is effectively outlawed, but fortunately, we can use foreign services.

        2. Foreign app providing e2e is now outlawed by executive fiat following this precedent.

        1. End to end encryption is effectively outlawed

          Ths is a technology or even just an idea or concept, not an app or a business.

          IMO, the overarching issue is as AlbertP outlines below. If nobody cares that the government is unconstitutionally spying on it’s own citizens and openly lying about it and using said power to abuse/defy the electorate with nearly zero consequences then what’s the point in dying on TikTok hill?

          1. Some congressmen have been trying to outlaw end-to-end encryption (or just apps that implement it) for years, so this is a real possibility.

            1. See your own comment below. This is a subdomain issue. Foreign communications (whether through one app or all of them) are a subdomain of information transmitted or transmittable via E2EE. All information transmitted or transmittable via E2EE is not a subdomain of all foreign communications. Whether the information goes through foreign servers or not, if it is encrypted, it’s illegal, whereas the other way, encrypted information can sale straight through approved channels and, once through, be redistributed to any/all destinations as necessary.

              Again, not saying TikTok ban isn’t a concern, just that it’s less concerning than (things like) specific/outright crippling/backdooring of E2EE schemes and ongoing domestic spying.

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          2. I don’t agree, since something like EARN IT can make e2ee infeasible in the US, while these targeted edicts can outlaw foreign apps that support e2ee. That definitely would make e2ee harder for ordinary users.

            I agree that the bigger issue is the cultural background that’s in opposition to privacy. The only reason to die on the TikTok hill is that it sets the precedent for banning other apps (like e2ee chat apps, cryptocurrency apps, etc.)

            1. I don’t agree, since something like EARN IT can make e2ee infeasible in the US, while these targeted edicts can outlaw foreign apps that support e2ee. That definitely would make e2ee harder for ordinary users.

              See above. IMO, you couldn’t possibly ban E2EE domestically (assuming you could effectively ban E2EE at all) without effectively banning it internationally as well. I haven’t combed through EARN IT but I assume it doesn’t ban e2ee only to exempt all communications where one of the e’s sits on a foreign shore.

        2. I’m not sure that follows. The precedent for banning foreign apps with end-to-end encryption would have been the banning of end-to-end encryption in the first place, as using foreign apps would just be an end run around that ban, no previous ban on other foreign apps needed.

          1. e2ee wouldn’t be directly banned; rather, it’d be something like EARN IT that makes it financially infeasible to maintain e2ee in the US.

    2. Yep. Most any of these “misdeeds” can be leveled against virtually any online company. Excepting the governments collection and use of our private information, of course.

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    1. Users outgrew Vine?

    2. I think twizzlers really out-competed them. Damn kids don’t need all that sweet stuff anyway. When my orphans exceed production quotas, I just let ’em break open a corn cob and chew on the core.

    3. The grapes were harvested and pressed into Wine.

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  3. Tik Tok clock
    The clock is ticking for you
    Cause the love you said you’d give
    came up way past due
    So dance to the clock rock
    Stay on the floor
    Cause when it ticks, turn it tocks
    I’ll be knocking at your door

    h/t Raphael DeLaGhetto

    1. I miss good sitcoms.

      1. Fresh Prince was one of the great ones. They’ve been running Frasier on Hallmark Channel. I had forgotten how funny that one was.

        1. More classics

          The Dick Van Dyke Show (MTM was supposed to be a bit player but we all loved her. Morey Amsterdam was a king of one liners. Produced by Carl Reiner who was in it. Dick was a master of physical comedy. How can you go wrong?)

          The Andy Griffith Show (the ones with Don Knotts. The cast in the early days was terrific. Check out the bluegrass when the Darlins’ show up)

          Taxi (Kaufman, DeVito, Christopher Lloyd… what does a yellow light mean. One of the great bits ever)

  4. The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that it will, as threatened, implement a ban on the TikTok and WeChat apps

    What legally authorizes them to do this?

    1. I’m sure it’s the #NationalSecurity clause that allows the President the ability to do just about anything.

      1. The authority comes from no Democrat ever questioning a Democrat president, and no Republican every questioning a Republican president. The president has this authority because we demanded more and more power be handed over to that office.

        1. Who is this “we” that you speak of? It certainly doesn’t include me.

          1. “Who is this “we” that you speak of?”

            Everyone who votes for Democrats + everyone who votes for Republicans.

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    2. Fuck you, that’s what.

    3. Think of it like a product recall. Everyone likes those, right?

  5. Is there anything that a President can’t do with a pen and phone these days?

  6. Why, in the enormous focus by the Reasonistas on action against Tik Tok, do they always skirt around the “China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data” bit?

    These articles are always about how “censoring” CCP spyware is unlibertarian, but never really deal with the fact that a totalitarian megastate is spying on literally everyone.

    1. Good point. Only Trump’s federal government should be allowed to do that.

      1. Come on man. You cannot be that overwhelmed by TDS! Our government has been spying on us across the last 3 administrations. Spying on American citizens online activities is NOT a Trump issue.

        1. its cute you think the US government has only been spying on its citizens for the past three administrations.

    2. Totalitarian megastates can spy on our typed letters, handwritten letters, emails, books, magazines, newspapers, and software applications… AND on smoke signals, sign language, or spoken words! Does this, then, give the Trumptatorshit the power, at the stroke of a pen, to outlaw ALL of these forms of communications? Will these new powers of the POTUS then also be allowed to flow to the BidenFuhrer, without right-wing nut-jobs having conniptions?

      1. Dude! When Trump’s federal government does it it’s wonderful because Trump is so awesome! The worst they can do is lock you up or kill you. No big deal. But Chicoms? They’re gonna use your personal information to try to sell you stuff! That’s evil!

        1. Are you really cheerleading for communist China by saying that they’ve never locked someone up or killed them?

          1. Good point! Those Chicom operatives are locking up and killing Americans on American soil all the time! You’re so clever and smart to point that out!

            1. Oh, so as long as they aren’t killing Americans, you’re good with it. I see.

              1. Yeah. That’s what I said. Yup. Idjit

                1. Oh, so now we’re concerned with what was actually said? Becaue I didn’t say the communist Chinese were locking up Americans and killing them.

                2. Sarc believes the Uighur holocaust is well deserved.

                  1. Certainly banning americans from using a tween video sharing app is the first step to ending that.

              2. Are you ready to go fight and die to make the USA the “world police” of all these kinds of things? Only under the Trumptatorshit, or also under the BidenFuhrer, or equally gladly under either one? Do you think that the USA could EVER declare an unjustified war?

                1. I voted against making the US the “world police” in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. Quit projecting your straw men on me and answer my question below. What platform, party, position, or vague hint of an alternative are you proposing?

                  I mean, seriously, neither one of you dumbfucks can seem to figure this out; as long as your alternative is even modestly superior to the two existing terrible options you guys should have a slam dunk. So why is it so hard to get you guys to even reach up and touch the rim?

              3. Riddle me this, Trump-man. What does the Chinese government’s treatment of its people have to do with this?

                China has no power over Americans. None. With that in mind, how are these apps a threat? And what authority (other than fuck you) does your Dead Leader have to ban them?

                Seriously.

                1. He’s not my Dear Leader, I didn’t vote for him. Riddle me this dumbass, with such terrible options why is it so hard to get even a trivial addressing of the question I asked out of you?

                  Are you saying I should ignore the Chinese government’s treatment of it’s own people when it comes to free speech and media platforms/apps in this country? Exactly how much mass murder and forced internment out of a hostile government should libertarians ignore? How close does such a government have to get to threatening libertarian interests before libertarians are allowed to take even modest action, any action, an action 100% of your own choosing?

                  Because I know this might surprise a dumbass like yourself but, pretty much any way you look at it your whole “Ignore what China does.” schtick isn’t working.

                  1. Authoritarian governments treat their people badly, and take away their freedom of speech. Therefor, we should authorize the Trumptatorshit to treat us badly, and take away OUR freedom of speech! Gotcha!

                    1. Seriously, your TDS is blinding you. If you just keep saying ‘Both Sides!’ does it give Trump or China less power?

                2. China has no power over Americans. None. With that in mind, how are these apps a threat?

                  Remember how when Hilldog was Secretary of State she ran her entire department from a private unsecured server, and everyone from the Chinese to the ancient Phoenicians hacked it?
                  That’s how, you stupid fuck.

                  1. That sounds like a good argument to prevent US government employees from using the app.

                3. sarcasmic
                  September.18.2020 at 1:58 pm

                  China has no power over Americans.

                  Hey, look, an asshole that has never opened a history book ever. Next you can Marxsplain to us that Soviets never held any power over Czechoslovakia, those dipshits just voted themselves in because life in the USSR was so wonderful.

                  They don’t have power over Americans yet. Give them the keys to the back door, and that might change sooner than you think. China will reach 2 billion people before the US reaches 500 million. If you can’t see the problem, you are not very creative.

                  1. “They don’t have power over Americans yet.”

                    “They” here can mean ANY nation on the Earth, or in the Universe! USA must take over ALL life-forms EVERYWHERE, then, in order for us to be SAFE!!!

                    What could possibly go wrong with this way of thinking?

      2. Does this, then, give the Trumptatorshit the power, at the stroke of a pen, to outlaw ALL of these forms of communications?

        If I say “No.” do you then side with liberty and propose a solution to the totalitarian megastate spying on our typed and handwritten letters, emails, books, magazines, newspapers, apps, smoke signals, sign language, and spoken words? Or is this a situation where you’re cool with one megastate but not another because reasons, uh, libertarianism and… free markets! Yeah!?

        1. The solution is to acknowledge the limits to our own powers, put our dicks back into our pants, mind our own business, and let other peoples and other nations solve their own problems. Trying to be world police is a sign of grandiose mania, and doesn’t work!

          1. And how does that stop the espionage?

            1. It doesn’t. It doesn’t help us to colonize the Andromeda Galaxy either. Recognize some limits to your powers, ego-manic one! Humility is a virtue, and will help keep you out of trouble!

              PS… If we stop threatening people worldwide with trade wars and shooting wars, it MIGHT make them less fearful, and reduce their perceived need to spy on us! Ever hear of “karma”? What comes around, goes around?

            2. Look, Mother’s lament, I know that the word “humility” might be Greek or Martian to you, but it IS a virtue! Just because the Dear Leader of yours (Der TrumpfenFuhrer), has NONE of it, does NOT mean that YOUR having NONE of it, is a GOOD thing!

              Even those who use force and violence (or threats and capabilities of the same) to serve the ends of the State, see and recognize this! When are YOU gonna grow the fuck up, and see the same thing?!?!

              https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/27/army-has-introduced-new-leadership-value-heres-why-it-matters.html

              The Army Has Introduced a New Leadership Value. Here’s Why It Matters

              1. What does humility have to do with Chinese Communist spyware?

                Seriously Sqrls, are you actually even replying to me or are you just randomly posting shit again?

                1. You are arguing with a guy that calls himself squirrelly. At some point, this is really on you.

                2. Humility simply means you don’t try to be the boss of everything. “Everything” includes the Chi-Coms, moron!

                  1. What does being the boss of everything have to do with fighting Chinese Communist spyware?

                    You’re making zero sense.

                    1. I’m making zero sense to YOU because you willfully and stubbornly HAVE no sense! Have you ever heard of “the cure being worse than the disease”? If you get all obsessed about “fighting spying”, then you are (clearly) willing to give up our freedom of speech! You can NOT be the boss of everyone, even if you are willing to pay inordinate prices! And stop paying with MY freedom of speech for YOUR proud, arrogant lack of humility, lack of common sense, and lack of seeing and recognizing the limits of your power! You’re a power-hungry, EVIL one!

                      Read and heed! M. Scott Peck, The People of the Lie, https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00UC6EF62/reasonmagazinea-20/

          2. put our dicks back into our pants

            Just because you walk around with your dick hanging out doesn’t mean we all do. Interesting that you’re totally cool with telling other people where to keep their dicks but you can’t seem to bring yourself to say that China should get their dicks out of all the sports franchises, technology companies, educational centers, media corporations that they are overtly fucking.

            mind our own business

            Define ‘our own business’.

            1. Our own business as USA-Americans is what happens in the USA. Pretty simple, eh?

    3. China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data is just the free market at work man!

      1. I wonder, does this reasoning apply to all apps or do US-based apps get a pass? For example, I’m sure Facebook gets a pass for data mining its userbase, so couldn’t Tik Tok’s Chinese parent company open a US subsidiary to take advantage of that exception, then “sell” its user data back to its parent who then shares it with the CCP?

        1. Sorry that was meant as a reply to Mother’s lament.

        2. The CCP would be wading through the data looking for specific people and instances, and then spying directly, rather than accruing purchasing patterns and observing ad techniques like Facebook.
          There’d be some value in the data, but not as much as having the ability to access individual phones.

    4. “…a totalitarian megastate is spying on literally everyone..”

      I am assuming you mean the US government? I seem to remember a lot of columnists (all?) here at Reason condemning it.

      1. That’s different! Because Trump!

        1. That’s a fairly concise summary of every post that you’ve made here.

      2. Again, guys, what’s the alternative? We already rolled up the left/right duopoly into a hopeless lose-lose choice every election, do we now role the US and Chinese governments up into the same lose-lose choice, pack the bags and go… wherever? If that’s the case, why are you still here?

        1. Again, guys, what’s the alternative?

          Just say no to Chinese trash. Maybe Melania can do some sitcoms to spread the message. THINK OF THE RATINGS!

          1. Setting aside the fact that cheap Chinese crap is so prolific, you can’t. As evidenced by universities, sports teams, etc. even if you pay for “American made” up front, ideologues will still sell the idea using said capital to pursue the Chinese market even if it means accommodating the communist regime (if they don’t outright hand the money to China).

            Ultimately, local labor and environmental regulations and even standards of living mean that regardless of your spending habits, the Chinese can always effectively abuse more profits/lower costs out of their citizens/employees. That’s not to say that “buying American”, “buying Free”, or “buying Western” doesn’t help, just that it’s a styptic pencil solution to an acute and massive hemorrhaging problem.

        2. I mean, you could just not install Chinese apps. I have taken that (in)action.

          1. No Chinese apps.
            No Chinese tools.
            No Chinese appliances.
            No Chinese clothing.
            No Chinese sports franchises.
            No Chinese schools.
            No Chinese news/media outlets.

            and none of the above gets into issues like California emissions standards necessitating (arguably intentionally) parts and labor standards across the country that the Chinese undercut simply by encouraging Californians to support them.

            Foregoing your free Chinese app, while perfectly sensible, doesn’t exactly seem like a silver bullet.

            1. the Chinese undercut simply by not having such standards and encouraging Californians to support them

              Sorry.

            2. Or that the some of the few resources the US lacks, rare earth elements, are integral to the newest technologies and China has the market locked up.

      3. No. The Chicoms and I don’t remember any columnists here condemning the CCP.

    5. Because

      1. People voluntarily install the software, and libertarians tend to believe in personal responsibility.

      2. The ability of a president to ban software is a really awful precedent.

  7. Of course there are things a president can’t do. I am compiling a list of them right now. This may take some time…….

    1. It’s much easier to just make a whitelist.

  8. China bad. Trump good. The end.

  9. I’m surprised there aren’t more cheerleaders praising this executive action while hating on Reason for being critical of Dear Leader.

    Must be Friday.

    1. John works for the government so I’m sure he skated early. I’ve never seen a federal office that was inhabited after noon on Friday. Don’t know about the other cheerleaders.

    2. Give them time……..

  10. If it weren’t for Apple, Google, and others deciding that Mobile needs to be centrally administered by their boards, then this would be no problem. Just go download the apps anyone. But no, Mobile is a mother-may-I technology where you have to ask permission of Apple or Google to install a third party application on the hardware own.

    While the Federal government is a bunch of swine, whoever gave Apple and Google to authority to tell me what I can or cannot install on my phone or tablet? And this attitude is rapidly being ported over to PCs by Microsoft.

    We have only ourselves to blame for mess.

    1. “…whoever gave Apple and Google to authority to tell me what I can or cannot install on my phone or tablet?”

      While I might agree that we share the blame in this, these are private companies. You also can’t but a new engine for your Ford at a Toyota dealer and have them install it for you, unless they give the “ok.”

      1. You also can’t but a new engine for your Ford at a Toyota dealer and have them install it for you, unless they give the “ok.”

        Yes you can. You just won’t get the Ford factory warrantee. Frequently the dealer(‘s garage) will offer/sell you a service/warrantee package to make up the difference. Plenty even offer the service/warrantee package over the top of the factory warrantee anyway. Even at that, you can get the garage to do it and then have a 3rd (4th? 5th?) paty warrantee it. Then, *if* you go through the switch, then *if* something breaks, and *if* you’ve opted out of every last warrantee, *then* you’re on the hook.

        1. Yes, if they WANT to do the work. My point is they can decline doing the work.

      2. Only a maroon wastes money going to a dealership.

        1. I mostly agree with you. But for oil-changes and such, our dealer here is actually a bit less expensive than the “independents.” Repairs can be a different story, though.

    2. Strong agree Brandybuck. Without taking action the right to repair property you own, or to possess a copy of software you can tinker with yourself, will evaporate into the cloud. We will all get strongly software-as-a-serviced right in the ass.

      1. Nobody literally cares about right to repair cheap Chinese devices or software you can tinker with yourself. They want to apps with cat videos and funky dancing.

        To wit, nobody except 0.001% of people actually looked at Google’s Android code. Or care about Apple’s “walled garden”. They just want it to work without getting hassled.

    3. But no, Mobile is a mother-may-I technology where you have to ask permission of Apple or Google to install a third party application on the hardware own.

      That will come as a surprise to all of the Android users who routinely install 3rd party apps on their devices directly via .apk files.

  11. tyranny aside, is your dance video worth China owning you?

    1. I originally read that as “tranny aside” wich, from what I’ve seen of the gasping-for-air commercials of TikTok on TV, is still pretty accurate.

      1. lol. the taco bell guy on the broom was funny one time. I’m tik-tok-ing!

  12. You wouldn’t consent to downloading an anti crime surveillance app or cops putting cameras all over the place thinking that “Oh well FB and the feds spy on me and violate my privacy anyways”. Koreans who got tested had to download a tracking app on their phone. There’s no way Americans would have gotten tested if Trump or states required that.

    Given that China runs a literal concentration camp, spread a world killing virus and uses face recognition tech to track protester, yes, I would ban the app if China was collecting my data. You can’t equate China with FB. FB won’t make you disappear with data mined from your browsing habits.

    Of course, it’s on Trump to show that TikTok is being used by the Chinese government for nefarious purposes. Are they? I don’t know. But people who reverse engineered the app says it can read biometric data.

  13. The only problem the feds have with TikTok is that, being controlled by the Chinese government, the US government can’t install their own spyware on the app. To think that the US government has some principled objection to spying on people is ludicrous.

  14. “U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler initially ruled Friday that an existing motion seeking a preliminary injunction was moot because the Commerce Department Friday morning detailed what transactions would be restricted on WeChat. TCEHY 0.54% But she left the door open for an emergency hearing on the matter, and the group that sued the Trump administration seeking the injunction, called the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, plans to continue pressing its case.”

    Call me when the ban actually happens.

    Bytedance tried to skirt President Trump’s demands by agreeing to a deal that would have left Chinese investors in majority control of TikTok’s U.S. assets.

    President Trump responded by calling Bytedance’s bluff.

    I strongly suspect ByteDance would rather have a minority position in a U.S. investor dominated partnership than leave their whole U.S. position to twist in the wind.

    They’ll probably cave–and probably before Sunday.

    Meanwhile, if President Trump hangs TikTok by the neck, I’m not sure Biden would resurrect them if he wins the election either.

    49% of a partnership with Walmart and Oracle or 100% of nothing–take your pick.

    You know how your mom would threaten you will all kinds of terrible things if you didn’t clean your room, and you’d just ignore her threats? And then when dad came home, he’d tell you to clean your room, and you’d just do it? Dad doesn’t make idle threats.

    TikTok is the lazy kid in that equation, and Mr. Trump is Big Daddy.

    1. Ken, I do agree that much of this situation is Trump playing tough against China to help him with blue collar swing voters. This combines nicely with Biden’s record of pandering to the Chinese over the years. I can tell you that voters in Wisconsin and Michigan do not take kindly to playing warm and fuzzy with Chinese companies that are “stealing” American jobs.

      1. President Trump insisting that the U.S. gets a cut of the sale price is campaign pandering, too. It just underscores the point that this is a campaign stunt.

        It’s an effective one, too.

        What is Biden going to do? Is he going to condemn Trump for this?

        Hell no.

        Biden can’t endorse it either. He just has to sit there while this is happening and try to look grateful.

    2. Have you raised a teenager? Oh sure you might get a room cleaning out of it today but you haven’t changed a thing.

      China is 1.5 billion people. We are 331 million. They are not going anywhere. To them we are barbarian upstarts. They have a civilization many thousands of years old. The government there is brutal, ruthless and driven. They are far from stupid.

      Some tween video app company is fluff to them. To make such a fuss about it must seem amusing in Beijing.

      “Cave” yeah right. I heard the same thing three years ago about the tariffs. Seen any caving going on? Did they buy all the stuff they promised? They know this is just another Trump tweet.

      This is not deep strategy. It is not strategy at all. Purely reactive. It is wasted effort and foolish.

      1. “This is not deep strategy. It is not strategy at all. Purely reactive. It is wasted effort and foolish.”

        Trump is rarely deep. It would be great if our government had a consistent policy to deal with China. Since the Dems are in bed with them so much, that makes it difficult.

        The bigger issue here is how incredibly stupid American corporations have been in their dealings with China. How much intellectual rights do you need stolen before you realize that China isn’t honest? The same smart phone we pay $1000 for they sell for $150 as a knock off Chinese version. They do this with all the products manufactured in China.

        Eventually, Apple or Samsung and other companies are going to find better places to set up shop. Or one could hope.

      2. “Some tween video app company is fluff to them. To make such a fuss about it must seem amusing in Beijing.”

        There’s this thing called “soft power” and the Chinese have been craving it.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_power_of_China

        When the Berlin wall fell, the people of eastern Europe were craving blue jeans, rock and roll, and McDonalds.

        China really does want that kind of influence, and they’ve had a really hard time manufacturing through government propaganda.

        Blue jeans, rock and roll, and McDonalds weren’t invented by the government either.

        TikTok wasn’t invented by the government. It was a rare of example of a Chinese cultural artifact permeating western culture.\

        They also don’t like being embarrassed by the United States bossing their companies around. It’s bad PR to get your ass kicked.

  15. “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a press release today.

    The real irony here is that OUR government maliciously collects data from us!!! While I have little doubt that China is behaving improperly here, this is seriously the pot calling the kettle black! You don’t have to have TDS to see how hypocritical this position is.

    US Gov: Hey China! You cannot spy on American citizens. That’s OUR job!!!

    1. OMG, the fits gonna hit the shan!

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  17. Let’s put this in federal context:
    • encryption qualified as munitions means that programs such as PGP cannot utilize same proprietary encryption algorithms both in and out of USA
    • concern over then-SoS Hilary Clinton’s unsecured server emails to White House without security review (otherwise, what issue?)
    • accusations of Russia interfering in American voting

    I recall that much.

    Now of the President wants to cut TikTok out of distribution, he should have a good reason. Chiefly, such app probably has a legal document consented to by its users that provides for fairness. The only way that the President should have any say, at least rationally, would be if the contract is not fair/enforceable (for specific reasons that at present elude me) or if the contract violates American law, yes?

    Seeing as most apps have contracts to what the respective user must accept in order to use the app, then the Trump matter must legally be because the contract is not legal by American standards, at present.

    So on that note, the question should be, What was wrong with the original TikTok (etc.) contract that the President considers illegal, omiss, or otherwise unenforceable?

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  20. Why do we allow the president to so overstep the authority delegated to the office?

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  22. Hey right-wing nut jobs, read THIS!

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gangster-capitalism-american-theft-chinese-124740130.html

    Gangster capitalism and the American theft of Chinese innovation

    1. Dozens of smart, brilliant entrepreneurs aren’t even trying to migrate, instead rightfully seeing their home markets as more open to innovation and technological progress than the vaunted superpower. The frontier is closed here, and it has moved elsewhere.

      China’s stealing not just American, but world innovation by undercutting the competition and demanding they pay ransom. America’s stealing world innovation by not allowing innovators throughout the world to come here.

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