Mark Zuckerberg incited fears about TikTok in US: Report

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised concerns about TikTok with lawmakers in the US months before the Donald Trump administration started portraying the short video-sharing platform as a threat to national security, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Zuckerberg argued that TikTok, owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, is not committed to freedom of expression and represents a threat to the technological supremacy of the US, the report said on Sunday.

In late October last year, Zuckerberg even took the opportunity to make a case against the rising Chinese Internet companies when the US President hosted a private dinner with the Facebook CEO at the White House, the WSJ report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Facebook CEO apparently argued that Washington should be more concerned about the Chinese Internet companies than reining in Facebook.

Similar arguments were also made during his meeting with several senators following which the concerns were shared with other authorities and the government eventually started a national security review of the company.

Earlier this month, Trump issued an executive order that gives ByteDance an option to divest its TikTok business in the US within 90 days.

Facebook recently launched the Reels feature in Instagram which offers TikTok-like functionalities.

Meanwhile, media reports said that TikTok is prepared to legally challenge the first executive order signed by Trump to prohibit its China-based owner ByteDance to do any business in the US.

The executive order “directed the Secretary of Commerce to come up with a list of transactions involving ByteDance and its holdings that should be banned after 45 days”.

Trump issued another executive order on August 14, giving ByteDance an option to divest its TikTok business in the US within 90 days.

The order came after Microsoft revealed its intentions to buy TikTok business in the US.

Several other names of tech giants are floating around in the public domain, including Twitter, Oracle and now Alphabet, who may buy the US operations of TikTok.