A TikTok ban is overdue

For the US, the choice is not between an open or censored Internet. It is whether or not to be a sucker.

The United States government does not usually block or censor lawful websites, foreign or domestic, because it subscribes to the idea that the Internet was designed to be open and connect everyone on earth.

On its face, then, US President Donald Trump's recent treatment of the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat, which he threatened to ban from the US unless they could find American buyers, looks close-minded and belligerent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2020, with the headline 'A TikTok ban is overdue'. Print Edition | Subscribe