How will the recent events surrounding TikTok affect the tech industry and society? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
The dust hasn’t settled yet. So it’s a bit hard to have a definitive view on the final impact.
Beyond what will happen to TikTok itself, I expect quite a few global impacts (whose exact scale remains to be seen):
* Big Tech is more and more going to have to choose sides between China and the West. The “1 company/2 approaches” model that Big Tech has tried to implement to follow simultaneously 2 sets of values (e.g. Western freedom of speech and Chinese censorship) is unlikely going to last for much longer.
* A few years from now, we may end up with “national internets” all over the world as governments are starting to fully realize the threats and opportunities that even basic consumer apps represent.
* This is going to amplify the debate around antitrust and feed the argument (which I fundamentally disagree with as I explain at length in my book) that we can’t possibly break US companies as this would somehow make it harder for them to compete against China…
* Hopefully this will also increase people’s concern over the level of data apps are collecting, whether it’s a Chinese or an American company, and cause them to be more thoughtful about the information they post.
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