TikTok might be the fastest-growing social network in the history of the internet, but it is also swiftly becoming the fastest-growing safety menace and thorn in the side of U.S. – China hawks.

Prohibitions on TikTok

According to a report published by the U.S. Navy this earlier week and issued by Reuters plus the South China Morning Post, is that TikTok will not be permitted to be installed on service members’ phones, or they may suffer removal from the military service’s intranet.

It is only the latest example of the difficulties facing the remarkably popular app. 

Lately, Congress, led by Missouri senator Josh Hawley, commanded a federal security review of TikTok and its Sequoia-backed mother company ByteDance, along with different tech companies that may share data with international governments like China. 

Anxieties over the leaking of private communications lately led the U.S. government to ask the unwinding of the purchase of gay social network app Grindr from its Chinese owner Beijing Kunlun.

The power of criticism on both sides of the Pacific has made it more challenging to handle tech companies across the divide. 

Shutterstock has made it more difficult and harder to find on its stock photography program photos considered questionable by the Chinese government, a play to evade losing a critical source of income.

We saw comparable hurdles with Google and its Project Dragonfly China-focused search engine, along with the NBA.

Prohibitions on TikTok

Companies Are Striving On Both Sides 

What is unusual here, though, is that companies on both sides are striving with the policy on both sides. 

Chinese companies like ByteDance are frequently being targeted and boxed out of the U.S. market, while American companies have long strived to get a foothold in the Middle Kingdom. 

That may be a more balanced playing field than it has been in history, but it is undoubtedly a less free market than it could be.

While the business fight between China and the U.S. remains, the damage will proceed to fall on companies that miss drawing within the lines placed by policymakers in both countries. 

Whether any tech company can join that divide in the future, sadly, remains to be seen.

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