Trump targets Chinese tech giants and their partners

Trump targets Chinese tech giants and their partners

This combination of pictures created on August 1, 2020 shows the logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok and US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC. PHOTO | LIONEL BONAVENTURE AND JIM WATSON | AFP Trump is forcing the world to choose between China and the US. Now, popular TikTok is being forced into a sale of its US assets to Microsoft.

There have also been crackdowns on other Chinese companies like Huawei.

This led Safaricom, whose network rides on Huawei, to comment about its role in powering M-Pesa and Kenya’s communication networks.

A few years ago our office sponsored a global technology competition. The winner of one of the modest prizes was an activist group in Sudan, a country that was under UN sanctions and US-led international blacklist on financial transactions.

We dared not pay it through our local bank. Even if the payment were allowed, it would put us on a watch list which could jeopardize other relationships. It did not matter that the payment was to reward and encourage good deeds with loads of paperwork to back the prize.

We stayed in touch with the recipient about the delay in remitting their prize, and they understood. While these payment hurdles were new to us, they dealt with them all the time. Meanwhile, other prizes to Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia and Zimbabwe were paid out.

This weekend, US President Donald Trump fired the latest salvo in his battle with China by banning Bytedance and Tencent, the parent firms of TikTok and WeChat, respectively. While attention is on TikTok, a media darling now, more impact will be from the ban on Tencent, the parent of WeChat.

WeChat, as a payment app and social media channel, is a way of life in China. It is ubiquitous in china in everything – banking, e-commerce, travel, and communications. You link it to your bank, withdraw cash or use it as a virtual currency to pay for money transfers, taxi & trains, groceries, utilities, send money to housekeeper or relatives. It processes one billion daily financial transactions and has 50 million merchants who use it.

It is used for news, social media, movies, games and can even be used for divorce filings .

Another giant platform in China is Alibaba, and both claim one billion users each. Taobao, an Alibaba company, is big in e-commerce, enabling rural farmers to live stream […]

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