Mark Zuckerberg could have influenced the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to block TikTok in the country вЂ” Wall Street Journal sources say that during his visit to Washington, the billionaire pointed to the threat to the country from Chinese applications. Earlier Zuckerberg at a meeting with Facebook employees publicly called TikTok a major competitor of the corporation.
The head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, may have been one of those who told U.S. President Donald Trump about the potential threat from Chinese applications, the Wall Street Journal reported citing sources. The reason for this may be competition with the application TikTok, which owns a company from China ByteDance.
In October 2019, at an internal meeting with employees, Zuckerberg called TikTok the main competitor of the corporation. It is known that three years ago the head of Facebook wanted to purchase the music service Musical.ly, which was later integrated into TikTok, but negotiations were unsuccessful. Now the Chinese social network is experiencing an unprecedented rise, yielding only Instagram by the number of unique monthly users. It is ironic that TikTok owes its growth to the Zuckerberg brand, as ByteDance has long invested in social network advertising, promoting both Facebook and Instagram ads, which eventually led to partial luring of users.
Analysts believe that Zuckerberg still can not accept the fact that he missed Tik Tok.
During a visit to Washington last fall, Mark Zuckerberg actively promoted the idea that Chinese applications could pose a threat to U.S. national security at a meeting with officials and legislators, WSJ sources reported. At a private dinner at the White House, the head of Facebook told President Trump that IT companies from China are hindering U.S. business, and this problem needs to be urgently addressed.
In addition, in Washington, Zuckerberg met with several senators, namely Tom Cotton and Chuck Sumer. Subsequently, they will create an official application for the U.S. intelligence agencies to check TikTok for compliance with the country's legislation. Sometime later, in the spring of 2020, this will culminate in a full-scale investigation of TikTok, and a little later in Trump's decree recognizing this social network as a threat to the well-being of the United States.
Meanwhile, official Facebook speaker Andy Stone told WSJ that Zuckerberg does not remember what he discussed TikTok at dinner.
It is impossible to determine exactly what effect that dinner with the head of Facebook had on Donald Trump. Peter Navarro, head of the White House National Council on Trade, said Zuckerberg вЂњhad nothing to do with anything going on in the White House,вЂќ adding that it was вЂњthe first time he heardвЂќ about the billionaire's role in Trump's decision to ban TikTok. However, one can't ignore the fact that in August, a new service Reels appeared on Instagram, the functionality of which fully copies the Chinese social network.
Reels' release coincided with increased pressure on TikTok and its ByteDance, which raises suspicions about Zuckerberg's personal interest in banning competing applications throughout the country.
Earlier, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer issued an official statement blaming Facebook openly for plagiarism.
вЂњAt TikTok, we welcome the competition. We believe that fair competition makes us all better. To all those who want to launch a product similar to ours, we say вЂњgo aheadвЂќ. Facebook even launches another copycat service Reels (linked to Instagram) after another Lasso copycat service has failed. But let's focus on fair and open competition, not malicious attacks by our competitor, Facebook, disguised as patriotism and designed to drive us out of the U.S. market,вЂќ Meyer said.