News analysis

TikTok a casualty of US politicians' deepening mistrust of China

The United States' move to ban or otherwise cut off the popular Chinese-owned social media app TikTok is part of a concerted effort to cut linkages with China that can be exploited to gather Americans' data - or have any kind of influence in American society.

The theory is that because TikTok is subject to Chinese law, the company can be compelled by the Chinese government to provide access to user data. There is also separate concern over whether TikTok uses content-moderation policies and practices that serve the preferences of the Chinese Communist Party.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2020, with the headline 'A casualty of US politicians' deepening mistrust of China'. Print Edition | Subscribe