The U.S. suppression of Chinese app TikTok reveals the two-faced nature of the U.S. government, some politicians and enterprises driven by selfish interests. The self-claimed champions of globalization have now turned into the very terminator of this irresistible trend, said some analysts.
Under the pretext of protecting national security, Washington first threatened to shut down TikTok’s operations in the United States, before forcing it to sell itself to American companies.
The crackdown on TikTok has undermined international trade rules and order. TikTok is a purely commercial company; the use of national power by the U.S. to encircle and suppress it has seriously shaken the cornerstone of the global economic and trade rules.
What the U.S. has done to TikTok is completely opposite to the image as an advocate for economic globalization it has tried to present to the world over the past decades. As for such ironic change in its attitude, some experts shared their views on such drastic change in the U.S. attitude.
“Take the chip for example. Ten years ago, the U.S. chips accounted for 25 percent of the world’s dominant share, and in 2019 it was 12 percent. But instead of development its chips, the U.S. is still trying to hinder China’s development. It’s just as an athlete who once always took lead the race, now lagged behind some newcomers. However, instead of working hard to catch up, the athlete puts all his thoughts on how to stumble the newcomers. That’s just what’s happening in the United States,” said Teng Jianqun, director of the Department for American Studies under the China Institute of International Studies.
“Short video really represents one of the most trendy things of this era, yet it was not created by a Silicon Valley company, but by a Chinese company,” said Pan Luan, a tech writer.
For this reason, the U.S. has shown strong hostility towards many powerful outsiders. But behind the hostility, there may be some deep-rooted social breeding ground.
In 2009, the Tea Party movement started to grow fast in the United States at the grass-roots level. Supporters of the movement opposed globalization and called for reducing the influence of corporate giants and the strong presence of the U.S. government.
At that time, when the development of corporate giants and the market order built by these giants and the U.S. government squeezed out too many small businesses’ living space and ordinary people’s job opportunities, the movement soon swept across the country.
The movement supported by conservatives also gave a chance to some politicians. Marco Rubio, a Cuban American, was just one of the beneficiaries of the movement. By promising to find more living space for the ordinary Americans and take back job opportunities from China, Rubio became a senator of Florida after defeating Florida’s governor.
After getting benefits for being an exemplar of American conservatism and anti-China activist, Rubio continues to advance his political career by attacking China and opposing globalization under the excuse of national security.
Rubio now serves as the acting chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, but the life of the ordinary doesn’t seem to have changed much.
As for such approach, Teng believes it is not for the interests and safety of the United States, but more for the politicians to win the support of voters and interest groups.
Teng added that using state power to suppress the strong outsiders instead of seeking self-development will never serve to push technological development, which will continue to make progress along with the times.
“Imposing obstacles or artificially setting up blockade can cause some temporary operational difficulties. But what will happen later on? No one and no country can hinder the development of technology by setting obstacles. No one can do this, it is impossible. The United States may have the intention to hinder its development, but the technological development always moves forward,” said Teng.