The situation is very reminiscent of three years ago, when former President Trump also wanted the Chinese tech giant to sell TikTok. Then a forced sale failed. Now, the US government seems better prepared.
Chew joins a long line of tech CEOs who have been heard for hours on the American political theater in recent years. Famous are the hearings that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to undergo after a major data scandal in 2018. However, it will be different for Chew: there was absolutely no question of a possible Facebook ban at all. the time.
In the case of TikTok, there is more at stake. The company is also part of a 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 this.
The unknown leader
The 40-year-old CEO of TikTok is an unknown to many. He hasn’t been in the job for very long either, only since 2021. The Singaporean studied at Harvard, among others, and served in the Singapore military. This week, in a TikTok video, he warned US users, now 150 million a month, that US politicians might want to ban the app.
These users are the great asset of Chew. Does President Biden really dare to ban an app that is so incredibly popular among young voters? This is a target group that can be very important for their re-election next year.
Chew’s job today is to keep a nationwide ban from coming any closer. He does this while TikTok is in the biggest political storm of its existence, because not only is the United States suspicious of TikTok. In turn, all sorts of countries, the Netherlands as recently as last Tuesday, announced restrictions. These often applied to employees of (parts of) government. India and Afghanistan are the only countries with a national ban.
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