“For decades, the US has been perceived as the defender of free trade and free speech… the US (or at least the Trump administration) seems to have become less enthusiastic about those values,” wrote Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of messaging app Telegram, in a post. “Soon, every big country is likely to use ‘national security’ as a pretext to fracture international tech companies. And ironically, it’s the US companies like Facebook or Google that are likely to lose the most from the fallout.”

Among the critics of the US State Department’s latest moves is also the Chinese government, with foreign minister Wang Yi accusing Pompeo of attempting “draw an iron curtain.”

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