New world. Tik Tok, Huawei, DJI … Why Chinese tech worries Americans

At the Global Industry Exhibition, in Villepinte on March 27, 2018 (BRUNO LEVESQUE / MAXPPP)

Tik Tok, the darling app for teens around the world, which allows you to share small video clips created from songs, claims 700 million users a month. Only here … Tik Tok belongs to the Chinese company Byte Dance and US senators suspect espionage in favor of Beijing. They fear that the application will provide secret access to users' smartphones and computers. Tik Tok insane. Nonetheless, a US federal agency, the Foreign Financial Investment Agency in the United States, has just opened an investigation.

This is not the first time that Chinese technology is the subject of suspicion in the United States. Tik Tok's reproaches are very similar to the accusations made against Donald Trump against Huawei about 5G. Another recent case: the US Department of the Interior has banned the flight of 800 drones of the Chinese brand DJI, used by US government departments, because of suspicion of espionage.

It is impossible not to make the connection between these accusations and the economic and political war waged by the United States and China. China is becoming a super technological power, in networks, mobile phones, artificial intelligence. If there is of course a risk of espionage with these digital tools, there is especially a risk of economic domination. The problem is that today Chinese components are everywhere. If you have to start looking at everything or prohibit everything, it's going to take on huge proportions.

In response, Chinese technology companies are banking on Europe with which they are in full operation seduction. Huawei, which owns five research and development centers in France, is investing more in France. The firm also organized at the beginning of the week in Paris a high mass of innovation. To try to get rid of espionage charges, these companies play the card of collaboration with open technologies. In short, today, technology rhymes more and more with geopolitics.


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