The Messy Feud Over Who Controls TikTok

In August, Trump signed executive orders that labeled both TikTok and another Chinese-owned app, WeChat, as national security threats. Unless they could broker a deal that would transfer majority control of the services over to American tech partners, both apps would be banned from the United States. The scramble that followed involved multiple competing companies and interests and raised the already heightened tensions between two feuding countries.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Louise Matsakis joins us to talk about TikTok, WeChat, and how this fight might shape diplomatic relations between the US and China for years to come.

Show Notes

Read Louise’s coverage of the TikTok controversies here and here.


Louise recommends the book The Overstory by Richard Powers. Lauren recommends the show Schitt’s Creek. Mike recommends SF Urban Hiker’s Stairway Project and also just going on a hike yourself.

Louise Matsakis can be found on Twitter @lmatsakis. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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