Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly warned US President Donald Trump, lawmakers and other officials about the rise of TikTok and other Chinese apps months before Trump’s executive order. As per a report Zuckerberg raised concerns about the video sharing platform TikTok and other Chinese apps with officials and lawmakers during his visit to Washington, DC last year.
He addressed the matter about the rising Chinese internet companies when the US President hosted a private dinner at the White House in late October, sources familiar with the matter told the publication. Zuckerberg said that the Chinese internet companies threaten American businesses, and should be a bigger concern than reining in Facebook.
In a speech addressed to Georgetown students, Zuckerberg said that TikTok does not share Facebook’s commitment to freedom of expression, and represents a risk to American values and technological supremacy, as per WSJ.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “Zuckerberg has repeatedly said publicly that the biggest competitors to US tech companies are Chinese companies, with values that don’t align with democratic ideals like free speech. It’s ludicrous to suggest that long-standing national security concerns — raised by policymakers on both sides of the aisle — have been shaped by Mark’s statements alone.”
Earlier this month, at Facebook’s all-hand meeting, Zuckerberg told his employees that he was worried about the TikTok’s potential ban in the US. “I just think it’s a really bad long-term precedent, and that it needs to be handled with the utmost care and gravity whatever the solution is. I am really worriedit could very well have long-term consequences in other countries around the world,” Zuckerberg said.
TikTok on Monday sued the Trump administration over the executive order that the US President signed on 6 August essentially banning the app if it fails to sell its operations to a US firm. “We do not take suing the government lightly. But with the Executive Order threatening to bring a ban on our US operations … we simply have no choice,” TikTok said in a blog post.
TikTok said it strongly disagreed with the White House’s position that the company was a national security threat, saying it had taken extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data. It also said the administration has ignored its extensive efforts to address its concerns, and accused Trump of politicizing the dispute.