Trump is mirroring China’s historical posture

Year: 2020

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s ban on WeChat and TikTok in the US, FMG CEO Devadas comments on the background and implications of this move within the context of the US-China power struggle:

“The likely ban on the use of WeChat in the United States by Executive Order of President Trump represents a further extension of the ‘lockout’ of Chinese technology firms from the US market.

But Trump also typically uses an argument predicated on security concerns to pressure its allies into adopting similar restrictions, as it had done regarding Huawei’s access to the Australian and UK markets. American policy is entrenching a ‘Balkanisation’ of technology.

But in all fairness, such an approach originated with China, not with Trump. China has banned Google, Facebook and Whatsapp, as both a protectionist measure to benefit its domestic companies but also a political measure to benefit the central government. Trump is mirroring China’s historical posture.

While this would seem to legitimise his policy, it nevertheless makes the global technology landscape more complex for businesses and governments to navigate. And as technology is a ‘binding’ tool for people and business transnationally, also creates divisiveness between peoples and countries.”