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Trump, TikTok and a dangerous precedent for democracy

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08/08/2020 07:02 PM
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Trump, TikTok and a dangerous precedent for democracy
(CNN)President Donald Trump's ongoing battle with TikTok is becoming one of the most curious chapters in America's emerging cold war with China. Earlier this week, Trump issued an executive order which gave the Chinese social media giant until the middle of September to find an American buyer or be banned in the country. He also issued a similar executive order for the Chinese messaging service WeChat.
This story draws together several threads. Microsoft is prepared to pay around $50 billion for an app that is primarily used to watch short, funny videos created by other users. The app currently has 100 million American users and analysts believe this might grow so fast it will soon be worth $200 billion. The Trump administration wants to ban the app because it believes its Chinese owners could be required to cooperate with the Chinese government, which in turn, could use the platform for espionage or to spread misinformation, threatening national security. If Microsoft and TikTok cannot pull off this purchase by mid-September -- a tall order for a deal of this size -- Trump pulls the plug on its US operation.

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