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Trump Blew Up More Than Just TikTok and WeChat

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to ban dealings with ByteDance, owner of video-sharing sensation TikTok, appears to codify what his administration has already been warning. A second edict targeting messaging app WeChat and its parent, Tencent, seems weirdly overdue. The executive orders issued by the White House go beyond stopping average Americans from becoming unwitting spies for the Communist Party through their postings and data. The implications could hurt not only the Chinese targets, but the U.S. companies they work with, including Apple and Alphabet’s Google.

Though TikTok and WeChat have been getting all the recent attention, the orders state that American companies cannot work with ByteDance or Tencent (though an unnamed U.S. official later stated that Tencent transactions were still OK). That clarification notwithstanding, the wording of the orders does imply that regardless of intention such bans could extend further, to include Americans advertising on dozens of products offered by either Chinese company, or to selling them cloud-storage services, or perhaps the most nuclear option: distributing their apps, even within China. […] Even though Chinese smartphone brands dominate their domestic market, iOS and Android remain the dominant platforms and Apple and Google cover almost the entire global ecosystem with their respective app stores. If they can’t do business with ByteDance, for example, even after a TikTok spin off, then the Beijing company might be unable to distribute its own apps, even within China.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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