Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stoked fears of TikTok as 'threat to US biz'

Topics Facebook | Mark Zuckerberg | TikTok

Zuckerberg warned US officials and lawmakers that Chinese tech firms pose a risk to American values and the nation’s tech­­­n­o­­logical dominance
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned US President Donald Trump at a White House dinner last October that Chinese tech firms posed a direct threat to the US business, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cites people claiming to be familiar with the matter. He is said to have argued that clamping down on these firms should be more of a priority than reining in Facebook. 

Around the time of the dinner, Zuckerberg warned US officials and lawmakers that Chinese tech firms pose a risk to American values and the nation’s tech­­­n­o­­logical dominance. The tech mogul is also said to have pointed out that TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-headquartered ByteDance, doesn’t share Facebook’s commitment to freedom of expression. 

Zuckerberg discussed TikTok specifically in meetings with several senators, according to people familiar with the meetings. In late October, Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark — who met with Zuckerberg in September — and Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, wrote a letter to intelligence officials demanding an inquiry into TikTok.  In addition to Zuckerberg’s personal outreach and public statements about Chinese competition, Facebook has established an advocacy group, call­ed American Edge, that has begun running ads extolling US tech companies for their contributions to Ame­ri­­can economic might, national security and cultural influence.

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