Donald Trump’s executive orders to block TikTok and WeChat from the U.S. market have set off legal battles and debates over the openness of the internet. But how will these apps’ Chinese parent companies, which have grown rapidly behind a walled garden for many years, maneuver around the bans now that the U.S. government is taking a leaf out of China’s playbook?
I am an American who’s lived in Asia for a decade now. As a venture capitalist based in Singapore, I’ve learned that major tech firms in these two countries share a common goal—mega-growth—but they come at it from different directions, often with contrasting methods. These tactics can help inform how American bans might play out for TikTok and WeChat and their parent companies, Bytedance and Tencent.