Following the actions restricting ByteDance from operating in the US through its TikTok app, president Donald Trump has alluded to similar measures against Chinese companies like Alibaba that have operations in the country.
At a press conference held in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump responded to the question of whether he is contemplating punitive actions against other Chinese companies like Alibaba. He said that “we’re looking at other things, yes we are.”
This development comes just a day after an executive order against ByteDance was given. The order mandates ByteDance to sell the US part of its TikTok business to any US-owned business or citizen within 90 days. Microsoft is currently in talks to buy parts of TikTok in the states.
“Among the factors CFIUS may consider inExcerpt of the executive order by President Donald Trump
reviewing the proposed sale or transfer are whether the buyer or
transferee: is a U.S. citizen or is owned by U.S. citizens; has
or has had a direct or indirect contractual, financial, familial,
employment, or other close and continuous relationship with
ByteDance, or its officers, employees, or shareholders; and can
demonstrate a willingness and ability to support compliance with
Alibaba’s e-commerce operations may not be the only one the US is worried about. Tencent has made a significant number of investments in US businesses including Reddit, Epic Games, Universal Music Group, and Riot Games. Tencent released Riot Games in 2015.
Seeing as TikTok is Chinese-owned, Riot Games, Alibaba, AMC Theatres, and others face the same threat because they are also mandated to share data with Chinese communist spy agencies if requested. This, according to Trump, is the reason why the US arm of TikTok is been taken away from China’s ByteDance.
Other US companies where Chinese companies have significant stakes may also come under attack in a bid to reduce China’s influence in America’s markets.
In addition to the order against TikTok, Trump ended a waiver that had allowed some US companies to continue selling goods to Huawei. The waiver had allowed US companies to continue servicing contracts with Huawei without a licence.
While TikTok has been intermittently banned in countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh over concerns about the content uploaded by users, it is completely banned in India. India banned TikTok because it allegedly encouraged cultural degeneration.