A technology-focused antitrust bill set to be considered by a US Senate committee Thursday, January 20, will be expanded to include China’s two largest social media companies , reported Bloomberg.
The bill’s criteria for a covered platform will be expanded to include companies that have 1 billion worldwide monthly users or US$550 billion in net annual sales, in addition to the existing US$550 billion market capitalization-threshold. These new criteria would capture ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat.
TikTok is ByteDance’s most popular global service, and has captivated teenagers from the US to Southeast Asia, while Tencent’s WeChat is the go-to lifestyle, payments, and social media platform for upwards of a billion people — mostly in China.
The legislation, which would prohibit so-called gatekeeper companies from giving an advantage to their own products on their platforms, already applies to Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
The US technology giants have warned that the bill would place burdensome restrictions on American innovation, risk user privacy, and security by opening some platform functions to competitors and damage products that are popular with consumers.
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