1/6 Who would have guessed two years ago that the sensation of the US social media scene in 2020 would be a Chinese firm, TikTok. Did you say Chinese? Ban it. Must be a national security threat. This is paranoia gone mad. Reds under the bed. McCarthyism. We have been here before.
2/6 The US can ban as much as they like. They can't put the genie back in the bottle. The Chinese have become terrifically innovative in cyber matters. There are thousands of other firms waiting in the wings. This is what America really fears. That Chinese technology is on a roll
3/6 America's biggest fear is the competitive challenge posed by Chinese firms. That is why Mark Zuckerberg is so keen to get TikTok closed down: it poses a huge threat to Facebook and the rest. But in the long run this is a dangerous path for the US to tread.
4/6 Exclusion, protection and isolation might enable US companies to hide but in the longer run it won't help them compete. Think of the markets around the world where they must compete with Chinese companies. This is the way of decline - and that is surely what is happening.
5/6 I remember a decade ago when I was travelling the world promoting 'When China Rules the World'. At my talks someone would invariably ask: but isn't China an imitator? Can they innovate? My answer: give them time. No one ever asks that question now! We know the answer.
6/6 Back to national security. It is as if the Chinese are the only ones gathering data. Dream on. Remember the Snowden revelations in 2013? The US listening in to Merkel's mobile and the rest. Gathering mountains of information on US citizens. And certainly the Chinese as well.
You can follow @martjacques.
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