Following India’s lead, Japan is considering banning TikTok and a number of other Chinese apps, as is the United States, while Pakistan has given the company a final warning, and Australia calls it a “data collection service disguised as a social network”. Meanwhile, TikTok has suspended the decision to locate its offices in London due to tension between London and Beijing.
TikTok seems to be drawing a new geopolitical map in which countries position themselves, on the one hand, according to their loyalties and pacts, and on the other, according to their relationship with China and the threat they perceive from its surveillance practices. This is all beginning to sound like something George Orwell might have written in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (The New Yorker republished yesterday in digital format its review from June 18, 1949, 10 days after its original publication), with a world map divided among Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.
TikTok似乎正在绘制一个新的地缘政治地图 ，一方面，各国根据自己的忠诚和条约来定位自己，另一方面，根据它们与中国的关系以及他们 从其监视实践中 看到的威胁来定位自己 。 这一切听起来都像乔治·奥威尔(George Orwell)可能在《 十九点四十八点 》中写的一样 (《纽约客》于1949年6月18日重新出版，昨天以数字格式重新出版， 距原版发行仅10天)， 其世界地图分为大洋洲，欧亚大陆和东亚大陆。
TikTok’s owners, ByteDance, continues to pursue its multi-million dollar communication and lobbying agenda: from signing up an American CEO from Disney, Kevin Mayer, who has been immediately dubbed “a puppet in the service of China,” to promising to create thousands of jobs in the United States (hopefully nothing like those that Foxconn promised too), setting up a “transparency center” in Los Angeles, opening its code and algorithms for inspection, or even going so far as to break up the company or its international operations and sell them to investors not linked to China.
Its users, in the countries where it is being banned or threatening to be banned, are really unhappy: the company was beginning to consider paying its most interesting creators directly for their content (until now, creators had to find ways to monetize their content through third parties). Meanwhile, Facebook has also started to offer incentives to outstanding TikTok creators to switch to Reel, the TikTok clone it has created. In case the many minors who populate TikTok lacked incentives to create increasingly viral content, here are a few more.
While the app is struggling to break its ties with the Chinese government, the US military is banning it and the federal government is considering doing so as well, a step that banks like Wells Fargo have already taken, or that Amazon threatened to do a few weeks ago. Is TikTok spying on its users for the benefit of the Chinese government? If it’s not, it seems to be going out of its way to make it look like that.