Jul 13, 2020

Steve Weber Says Fed’s Targeting of TikTok Related to Worsening US-China Relations

From China Daily

TikTok made political scapegoat

By Liu Yinmeng

A threat by the United States government to ban the Chinese app TikTok in the US has stoked concern among some users and observers that such a move on the short-form video platform is politically motivated.

"Washington DC right now is looking for reasons to show how 'tough' it can be on China, and Tik-Tok is a convenient target precisely because it is wildly popular," said Steven Weber, associate dean of School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley...

Weber said some of the generalized frustration with and anger at social media companies, particularly Facebook, for security, is being directed at TikTok. However, these debates have become politicized, and the key issue is worsening US-China relations, he said.

"In theory, any app that collects users data (in other words, essentially every app) could be a national security risk," Weber said. "I think TikTok is trying very hard to prove that it is not, but it's essentially impossible to prove a negative.


Steven Weber is the Associate Dean and Head of School, School of Information; Faculty Director, Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity; and Professor (I School and Dept. of Political Science). His research focus is in international politics, international business, and the information economy; cybersecurity; and behavioral economics within information systems.

Last updated:

July 17, 2020