The massive digital platform market has until recently been dominated by a handful of US-based companies such as Facebook and Google. However, as foreign governments and competing platforms try to erode this domination, platforms are becoming a new sphere of geopolitical manoeuvring.
The European Union wants to gain more control over international tech companies and achieve more independence in the digital arena. India has banned 177 Chinese apps on the grounds they are “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
And in 2020, the then US President Donald Trump spent months attempting to ban the Chinese-made video-sharing platform TikTok or force its sale to an American owner. While some claimed Trump was piqued by a supposed prank against him by teenage TikTok users, a look at statements from US government officials over the course of the year shows geopolitical concerns were the main driver.