The situation is very reminiscent of three years ago, when former President Trump wanted to sell the Chinese tech company TikTok. Then a forced sale failed. Now the US government is better prepared.
Save joins a long line of tech CEOs who have been asked for hours on America’s political stage in recent years. The investigations that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg endured after a massive data scandal in 2018 became famous. For Chew, however, it would be different: a ban on Facebook was out of the question at the time.
In the case of TikTok, even more is at play. The agency is part of the geopolitical power struggle between the United States and China that has been going on for years. Telecom giant Huawei and chip machine maker ASML also have to deal with it.
The 40-year-old TikTok CEO is unknown to many. Since 2021 he has been out of work for a long time. The Singaporean was educated at Harvard and served in the Singaporean Army, among others. This week, in a TikTok video, he warned US users, now 150 million a month, that US politicians might want to ban the app.
Those users are Chew’s biggest asset. Would President Biden really dare to ban an app so popular with young voters? This is a target group for his re-election next year.
Chev’s job today is to prevent a nationwide ban from approaching. And he’s doing this when Tik Tok is in the biggest political storm of its existence, because America isn’t the only one that trusts Tik Tok. All sorts of countries have followed suit, with the Netherlands just last Tuesday announcing restrictions. These mostly apply to government (areas) employees. India and Afghanistan are the only countries with a nationwide ban.
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