TikTok, Trump and an Impulse to Act as C.E.O. to Corporate America

By: Alina Dang

Recently, President Donald Trump has been putting himself into corporate decision-making in ways that predecessors would have avoided. He is considering banning a popular app, Tik Tok, in the United States.because it was a Chinese owned app.

TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media app, is under examination for possibly providing the Chinese government access to American user data. On Friday, Mr. Trump threatened to ban tik tok from america but later hit with a reversal, saying he would allow TikTok to keep operating if it were sold to an American owner.

On Monday at the White House, Mr. Trump said that TikTok would be banned in the United States as soon as September 15 unless Microsoft or another “very American” company bought it, and that he had told Microsoft’s chief executive in a call to “go ahead” with the asset.

Daniel Price, a former economics adviser to President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s turnaround on TikTok was “just another example of the president’s undisciplined and impulsive decision-making style, so bewildering to friend and foe alike.”

Although past Republican administrations disapproved of government intervention in the market, President Trump had no doubt about taking a heavier hand, including favoring industrial policy and a more managed approach to trade.

This also includes when a company’s fate is at risk because of the government’s actions. According to an article in The New York Times, “ as when the Clinton administration filed an antitrust case against Microsoft, saying it threatened innovation in the nascent internet — presidents have usually kept their involvement at arm’s length to avoid charges of political interference.” However, President Trump has not. He has particularly aimed his intentions at multinational companies that he says have made fools of past American policymakers.

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