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TikTok and Tesla are just the beginning of the US-China clash over Big Data

The US move to ban TikTok marks a new phase in tackling data security that could ultimately impact everything from electric vehicles to healthcare, reshaping trade ties between the world’s largest economies.

US President Joe Biden last week signed a law banning TikTok’s ownership by Chinese parent company ByteDance, a measure aimed at preventing Beijing from accessing the large amounts of data the video-sharing app collects from its 170 million US users. The law takes a page out of China’s playbook and views the potential misuse of data as a threat to national security.

While Beijing has long imposed many more restrictions on U.S. companies in China, authorities have embraced companies that play by the rules and agree to store data locally. Elon Musk’s Tesla is a case in point: on Monday it was reported that it will partner with Beijing-based tech giant Baidu for mapping and navigation functions to deploy autonomous driving functions – data entrusted only to a select group of Chinese companies.

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