IAmerica may vigorously support the war in Ukraine, but its obsession remains China. She attacks her balloons, her electronics, but her main enemy remains TikTok. Normal, the most popular social network in the world today among young people has already taken control of American teenagers. They now spend more time on the Chinese application than on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook.
Hostilities escalated on Wednesday March 15 when the company confirmed that the US government had given it an ultimatum: either it leaves the bosom of its Chinese owner, the ByteDance group, or it is banned from the United States. .
Tick tock, tick tock, the time bomb clock is ticking. The firm is reliving the nightmare of the Donald Trump years, when the former US president tried to bring the social network into line, as he had done for the telecom specialist Huawei. A waste of time, the notoriety of TikTok has only increased. Even more paradoxically, never have consumer companies of Chinese origin had so much success on American soil.
During the last Super Bowl, the final of the American football championship, the most important audience moment of the year for television, it was the advertising of the Temu application which mobilized the attention. In a few months, this Boston-based online commerce platform has become the most downloaded application on American smartphones. It is a subsidiary of the Shanghai group PDD Holdings, which already owns Pinduoduo, a very popular Internet marketplace in China. Not to mention, of course, Shein, the “Chinese Zara”, known for its low-cost fashion that is a hit around the world and is considering an IPO on Wall Street.
Billions of data
The common point of this new generation of merchants is to target the general public without intermediaries, to manufacture in China on demand and to ship directly from the factory. A strategy that contrasts with that of Amazon and its giant warehouses around the world, but which works wonderfully.
And to enrich the nightmares of American politicians, it should be noted that all these companies base their prosperity on the very sophisticated analysis of consumer needs. Billions of data that potentially end up in computers in the Middle Kingdom. TikTok has offered to host its followers’ data only on US soil. But this is not enough. America intends to bring down the (iron) curtain on the appetites of Far Eastern merchants.