TikTok responds to Trump executive order: "We are shocked"
Why it matters: TikTok argued that Trump's move "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth."
- It added that "it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets."
The state of play: TikTok said it had tried to deal with the administration in good faith but found it "paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses."
- Trump's order claims the app's "data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information."
- TikTok has long said that it stores all data belonging to U.S. customers in facilities outside of China that are not subject to Chinese law.
The big picture, via Axios' Scott Rosenberg: TikTok's response hints that it recognizes that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders.
- In this fight, U.S. nationalism may make a weaker case to the world than the ideal of internet freedom and open networks that the U.S. once evangelized.
What's next: TikTok said it would "pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly," hinting that it would begin a court battle if the Trump administration doesn't back down.