Explained International

A Pushback to China and TikToK – India Showed the Way, the US is Scaling It Up

When historians, after ten years or so, sit to write about the geopolitics that played out after the virus originated from Wuhan, they may record that the push back against China came from India and later, ‘world powers’ like the US and other countries took it to the next level.

Consider the ban of Chinese apps including TikTok. India was first to move on this and now the US has also picked it up, adding some more details to the process. Arguably, with the initial band of 59 Chinese apps, India showed the way for the world that it can be done in the background of privacy and security concerns without violating all the free trade agreements.

That is exactly what the US is now doing with the TikTok, a social media platform that is rooted in China.

According to reports, “Microsoft has been given until September 15 to complete its purchase of TikTok’s U.S. assets at a minimum, otherwise President Trump has said the app will be banned. Such a move will prohibit U.S. businesses providing technology or services to TikTok, and that would see the app removed from Apple and Google app stores. Just as Pompeo threatened Wednesday “We’re protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property.”

Perhaps, this headline from Hindustan Times sums the development aptly.

India Set Many Examples

Not just the Chinese app ban. India set many examples of pushback against the expansionism of Chinese Communist Party. As we pointed out in an earlier article, though many countries across the world were agitated by China’s behaviour in times of a global pandemic that originated from Wuhan, there was a lack of military fervour in opposing China earlier. When India stood firm in the Ladakh border, a template was set. The US, Japan, Taiwan etc started to show military postures and preparedness against China.

India also showed the way on how the Chinese companies can be kept out of public procurements without running into trouble with free trade agreements. Read our previous article India’s Carefully Crafted Strike Against China’s Interests Without Naming Them for details.

The Bigger Game

The US might have taken the playbook unveiled by India a step further. The indication is that in the coming days it would be difficult for Chinese companies to conduct their business. So, either they need to sell their stakes to American or non-Chinese companies or they would be forced to come out of China. Either way, it is China’s economy that comes under a strain. Here is already a signal of things that are shaping up for the future.

The sparks of resistance to China’s ulterior designs started in India and scaling up at global scale with each passing day. You may read our earlier article India’s Economic Punches Against China – An Account.