By Times Wang & Jianli Yang – April 4, 2023
How should a free and open society deal with an outside force that doesn’t believe in openness? This is the issue posed by TikTok and WeChat. While we share the U.S. national security concerns about these Chinese-owned social media apps and are sympathetic to the arguments for forcing TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, to sell the platform, or to ban it if ByteDance refuses, we understand that, as with the Trump administration’s attempt to ban WeChat, outright bans are likely to face First Amendment challenges in America.
Here’s an idea that hasn’t been discussed, but one that is less inconsistent with openness: Instead of banning TikTok and WeChat, force their parent companies, ByteDance and Tencent, to publicly disclose and acknowledge to users what experts on the political system of the People’s Republic of China know to be the truth — namely, that they are unavoidably beholden to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)… [Continue Reading]