Zuckerberg’s testimony, published in advance, focused on the broader danger of allowing tech firms from the world’s No. 2 economy to dominate the online sphere. After years of trying to bring Facebook into China, he’s choosing the opposite path, setting up Facebook’s success as an alternative to China’s.
“China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries,” Zuckerberg will say today, according to the CEO’s testimony prepared for the House Judiciary Committee on antitrust.
The argument is likely to resonate with President Donald Trump, who has already threatened to ban TikTok in an escalation of tension with China over trade, security and the coronavirus.
Facebook competes directly with TikTok, including with a new feature called Reels available in some countries. Mayer mentions the product by name, as well as mini-video app Lasso.
“Their other copycat Lasso failed quickly,” he says. “Bring it on.”
In the meantime, TikTok is investing in reinventing its image and hiring heavily in the U.S. Mayer’s own hiring is regarded as a big help in burnishing TikTok’s credentials. It’s building relationships to show TikTok to be “responsible and committed members of the American community,” Mayer writes.