The jockeying by Microsoft and possibly other US companies to buy TikTok’s US operations shines a harsh light on how the country’s domestic technology giants are falling behind on innovation in social media and other areas of opportunity.

Both ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat are living on borrowed time in the US after President Donald Trump signed executive orders last week effectively banning the apps after 45 days. The renewed focus brings to the forefront how badly US social media apps have lagged their Asian counterparts...

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