What a TikTok Ban Means

A Singaporean CEO, US data centers, Oracle code audits, 3 out of 5 board members US citizens, Singapore HQ etc. If TikTok can’t operate in the US, zero chance anyone else will. The reason why the US government is banning TikTok has nothing to do with the videos. It’s one thing and one thing only: China.

TikTok is essentially being shut down in the US because of its ownership is Chinese, as David Sacks outlined in the latest All-In podcast. As Sacks says, China won't allow this would rather order ByteDance, TikTok’s parent, to shit it down.

A precedent may be set where the US government can shut down and essentially grab foreign companies at will..


Sacks also made the great point that this movement is based on fear. TikTok is insanely popular and a great product; it’s beating a whole host of apps, from Instagram to Snapchat and many more, in consumer social, perhaps the most competitive space there is.

There’s been no evidence that TikTok has been involved in spying or sending data to China. So, what’s next for Chinese companies such as Temu, Shein, DJI etc in the US? Probably in all likelihood they’ll also be banned.

Sacks also argues on the pod that Telegram, based out of Dubai in the UAE, or any other apps non US based could be next. This is dangerous. The American Internet kickstarted the global internet and created what we have today; a global marketplace for innovation.

It’s not a stretch to say this could be the unwinding of the global internet into regional components. Politicizing the Internet is unavoidable. Countries from China to India to the UAE to Europe and beyond have their own laws and regulations. That’s resulted in many apps and services being unavailable from one place to the next.

But today, anyone can still launch something online and have people use it worldwide. There’s a lot of money to be made, but the main benefit to humanity is amazing innovation and better lives.

So TikTok gets banned, but what will be retribution for US companies? What now for Apple and Tesla in China? It could be conceivable, as Amazon, Google etc were in China a decade ago, could be hustled out of China.

Given that Apple and Tesla’s China business is 20% of revenues plus and even more importantly, a massive supply chain partner, billions of value would be wiped out.

If politicians snuff TikTok out of the US and the ensuing dominoes fall elsewhere as the tit-for-tat begins, it will be a very sad result for everyone.

Join the conversation

or to participate.