TikTok has run into a world of hurt from the Trump administration, and it turns out Facebook may have been behind the assassination attempt.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Mark Zuckerberg personally briefed against the Chinese company when meeting with Donald Trump and other lawmakers at the end of last year.
Not only was Facebook killing off a rapidly rising rival, but according to a spokesperson for senator Josh Hawley was also using TikTok to distract lawmakers from Facebook’s own regulatory concerns, and according to Kelli Ford was using the issue as a “PR tactic to boost its own reputation.”
Facebook has a reputation of being very paranoid about competition, had historically either purchased rivals early or copied their product. However Facebook’s first attempts at copying TikTok failed completely, and due to greater regulatory scrutiny was finding it increasingly difficult to simply purchase rivals.
It appears the company, who spends record amounts at lobbying in Washington, has found a new way to kill of competition, with TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer saying they were subject to “maligning attacks by our competitor — namely Facebook — disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US.”
TikTok currently has until the 12th November to divest itself of US-based assets, with Facebook investor Microsoft being the front-runner to purchase either the company of its English-speaking divisions, after getting approval directly from Donald Trump.