Huawei, TikTok bans are just the beginning of censorship [Opinion]

TikTok Saga leads to the censorship

The US recently banned all officials from using TikTok on their phones. This was followed by banning it in some universities, and schools. The result is blocking local WiFi networks from accessing the service and its website. Is US TikTok censorship leading to a greater mess?

Is US TikTok ban likely?

This saga started in 2020. Trump declared that TikTok will be banned if its American division doesn’t come under their control. At that time, Trump proposed that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, should be acquired by an American one.

There were some ideas that the buyer should be Microsoft or Oracle, but both of them showed no interest in such a deal. In the end, those companies do completely different business.

TikTok logo on building

Eventually, the US TikTok censorship has been stopped without explanation. A few years later though, it appeared again. Now, Biden’s administration continued where Trump stopped. The new bill is starting the process again Both parties in US Congress agreed to push harder foreign services in general.

Everything is packed in a “national security” envelope called R.E.S.T.R.I.C.T. (Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology).

Will US TikTok ban affect other apps?

If this passes, and Biden signs it into law, the US administration can declare any “foreign application” undesirable. In short, it allows them to order Google and Apple to remove any application from their stores if it is marked as mentioned.

The US argues that TikTok collects users’ data and sends it to China. This would be a good reason for US TikTok censorship, but they still haven’t provided any evidence. But hey, don’t Google and Facebook do the same? Collecting data from users from other countries, and sending it back to the US. Oddly enough, they don’t even hide it.

To be fair, Google and Facebook are banned in China in the same fashion. But have you ever asked yourselves, why it’s not the case with Apple and Microsoft? The simple answer is that the latter two don’t base their business on collecting data.

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How does US TikTok censorship resemble the Huawei ban?

When it comes to Huawei, after four years we’re still waiting for evidence of alleged espionage. Back then, the campaign against Chinese smartphone and infrastructure manufacturers was very intense, and much of the fake news was spread in the media. A notorious example was Bloomberg’s article about a backdoor in Huawei’s equipment that has been found in Vodafone’s network in Italy. Vodafone itself immediately denied these claims, but Bloomberg never published it, and it kept boosting that very article on Facebook for a few more days.

Read Also:  Under CIA Investigation: Company Cuts Ties with Huawei, Shifts Focus to U.S. Tech

Huawei Shenzhen


Meanwhile, Bytedance’s CEO recently testified in Congress. He was bombarded with plenty of stupid questions, one of which was “Does TikTok has access to his WiFi network”. The testimony showed that no evidence for sending US users’ data to China has been provided yet. Still, the rant is going on. The US TikTok censorship is still very likely.

Apparently, it’s no longer just about TikTok. All existing and future platforms that the US administration may consider undesirable, may share TiTok’s fate. Given that it’s a bipartisan bill, any fight in the court is not likely. Here we can draw a parallel with the Huawei ban, which was implemented under “national security law”. This one practically can’t be fought in court either.

This “national security threat” wouldn’t be such a big deal, if the bill haven’t proposed banning every app which the government marks as s a threat. This gives them the possibility to decide what is or is not acceptable. What’s next? Ministry of Truth? The US TikTok censorship obviously reminds me of Orwell.

Could US TikTok censorship hurt the tech?

So, we have to ask ourselves: are US TikTok censorship and Huawei bans leading to a much more intense tech war?

Another interesting fact is that the US forces many Europan countries to follow their path. We’ve already seen similar events with Huawei when the UK imposed the ban. Now, some EU member states also consider the same.

We also have to take into account the ongoing trade war. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before the trade war spreads. It might also lead to a greater mess.

The worst part of this story might be that it’s very likely that the Huawei ban and TikTok censorship will hurt the tech world more than we are aware of.

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1 Comment

  1. May 4, 2023

    talking of censorship about chinese apps or companies really is a big joke.

    Is it a problem when china bans facebook, twitter, reddit, google, news outlets, songs, books, movies, TV-series, consoles, games, people, politics, public discussions, companies, etc. ??????

    Now we have a company who has been taken cheating so many times being banned, and a retarded app for retards addicted to stupid short videos being banned and the citizens scream “censorship” ?????????????? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN OR LIVED IN CHINA ???? BECAUSE I DO LIVE IN CHINA, AND BELIEVE ME, BANNING HUAWEI OR DOUYIN ISN’T CENSORSHIP!!!