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The TikTok® case high point of the Sino-US trade war, what lessons can be learned?

Source: You Tube

The press has echoed the latest steps taken by Donald Trump in his economic war with China. This is about his decision to ban the Chinese TikTok® application unless an American company buys its activities in the US but also probably in Europe …

Why those announcements?

 

Americans began to show signs of concern when US Congressmen expressed concern about the growth of TikTok® especially among young Americans, and the use of their personal data by the company and therefore by the Chinese government. (April 2020 – YouTube).

Concern that our own MPs are not happy to share, not only with TikTok® but with the Americans themselves, their #gafam and their extraterritorial laws (Patriot Act and Cloud Act).

A few months later, the US president in his geopolitical confrontation with China unilaterally issued an ultimatum (Les Echos), in defiance of all the international rules to which they want the world to comply. Either TikTok® separates from its American activities by selling them to an American company, or the application is banned, Microsoft is in the running (Les Echos) …

Regarding TikTok®, Americans are not the only ones who want to ban this application. In India it was recently banned (Le Monde).
Not a week goes by now without new elements being paid against the Chinese application (Le Siècle Digital). We even learn that she was able to spy on millions of users thanks to an Android security flaw (Zone Pirates) … Flaw or backdoor allowing the US to engage in the same practices?

 

What about Trump’s reaction ?

 

For once, we cannot blame him for considering the threat posed by these possibilities of espionage or looting of personal data of Americans by China. And in the end, in this case, it seems that it will achieve its ends, in fact TikTok® has entered into negotiations (Les Echos) to sell these video trading activities in several countries …

In the case of WeChat®, another Chinese application, mostly used by Chinese, the ban seems symbolic, but causes a side effect that was not anticipated. Indeed, this decision could have a strong impact on many American players, because WeChat® is not only a messaging service, but also allows the online sale of … American products (Les Echos).
However, these are issues that we must follow …

 

What is Europe doing?

 

This is a question we are entitled to ask ourselves, and as L’Opinion reminds us, it would be fashionable to be concerned about the downgrading observed of Europe in the face of the two great powers that are China and the States. -United.
For the moment on the European side, the only action that has been taken has been the opening of a complaint to the CNIL, which has come closer to an ongoing European initiative, this is the work in progress. course of the European Data Protection Committee (EDPS) in order to coordinate all the European CNILs (Les Echos). For the time being the CNIL has no concrete information on sending user data to China, the investigations are continuing.

 

Outlooks

I find this case interesting in more than one way. What are the key points?

  • The US is at an economic war, China is their main adversary, but not the only one, and we can see that Europe is also in the crosshairs (Le Parisien) …
  • The US is worried about China’s use of its citizens’ data, does that not appeal to you?

These two points make me think, it is time for Europe to wake up! Indeed, it represents one of the biggest markets, and therefore stirs up the greed of both China and the US. It is time for it to become less naive and to tackle the challenges of its geostrategic independence.
Why not take inspiration from the US initiative towards China and the #gafam. Could we not ask for the sale of the activities of Facebook (including Messenger and WhatApps), Amazon, or even Google in France or in Europe. And not to make people jealous, of course, we are asking for the sale of TikTok® activities in France and in Europe.
This will remain wishful thinking, as none of our political leaders seem to be of the stature necessary.

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