That may not be true for long.
Ever since the 2016 US election, there has been a growing consensus on Capitol Hill that Silicon Valley needs to be reined in, with Democrats pointing to concerns about the biggest companies’ market power and content moderation flaws and Republicans focusing on a perception of anti-conservative bias on the platforms.
Shortly before the antitrust hearing kicked off on Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders.”
For all the controversy over TikTok’s connections to China through its parent company, ByteDance, which is based in Beijing, the video app is perhaps the only social media service in recent years that poses a true risk to the bigger platforms that have long dominated the space.
In a short period of time, TikTok amassed some 100 million users in the US, many of them part of a younger demographic coveted by advertisers and tech companies alike. It gave birth to a new crop of social media stars, viral memes and has had an impact on popular culture.
TikTok nodded to some of these threats in remarks before this week’s antitrust hearing.
Even if the app isn’t banned in the US, there’s a chance it will be sold and the current suitor being mentioned is Microsoft — yet another Big Tech company.