The TikTok Saga Nears Its End
As the TikTok saga draws to a close, the company may be on the brink of a settlement with the United States government over data sovereignty. Recent reports indicate that the company is in advanced talks with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States over plans to store user information in the United States with Oracle. This issue has been a core regulatory concern for the tech giant since mid-2020.
The ByteDance tiktok controversy is reaching an end, but not in the way it may have seemed. President Joe Biden has halted negotiations for a deal to sell TikTok to Walmart and Oracle, but that deal’s fate is still up in the air. Biden’s decision to halt the deal comes after he reviewed his predecessor’s efforts to assess security risks from Chinese technology companies. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that a ByteDance sale to either Oracle or Walmart would still leave significant national security issues unresolved.
TikTok’s recent troubles have come at a critical time for the Chinese company. Trump’s ban on TikTok has made it more difficult for the company to do business in the US. While it was a popular app, it has also come under scrutiny from the Chinese government. Some fear that ByteDance is secretly funneling user information to the Chinese government.
In December, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton sent letters to the Director of National Intelligence regarding the TikTok deal. Despite the letters and the deal’s potential for failure, TikTok has continued to discuss its future with U.S. officials. The company is making efforts to ensure that it stays in the US without making major changes in its ownership structure.
The ByteDance tiktok controversy has been a messy one for two years. In the US, the company was threatened with a ban on its services and a forced sale to a US company. However, the deal failed to go through. In the meantime, TikTok’s employees are scrambling to create US-specific clones of its internal systems. These systems include its recommendation algorithm and tracking analytics tools. Whether the deal goes through or not will be determined by CFIUS, but it certainly won’t happen before the end of 2020.
The TikTok saga may be nearing an end. According to reports, TikTok is close to a deal with Oracle, which will help it manage and store US user information. The company plans to separate databases for the US and other regions, which will help resolve concerns regarding the Chinese company’s history. While the exact terms of the proposed deal were not made public, it was believed to address both the users’ needs and the concerns of American national security.
The company’s US operations have come under fire since early July. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Trump administration was considering a ban on TikTok, because the app would give the Chinese government access to the personal data of US users. The administration’s actions forced TikTok to sell its US operations to a company based in the US, and Microsoft and Walmart pursued the acquisition.
The company has also imposed a ban on political ads and has ceased accepting videos that spread misinformation. It has also banned videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which were manipulated to make her look drunk. The company’s content advisory council has also discussed issues of voter suppression, public support of QAnon, and post-election violence.
The TikTok saga may not be over yet, but the company continues to look for ways to make their platform more effective. In the meantime, Walmart is also interested in the platform, and has indicated that it would consider partnering with Oracle. But this deal is unlikely to end the tech cold war between the U.S. and China.
The Trump administration has stepped up its efforts to shut down TikTok in the US. Last summer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration was considering banning the app because of its ties to the Chinese Government. The ban is expected to take effect on Nov. 12 and is meant to force the company to sell the app to a US company. Several US companies have expressed an interest in buying the app, including Microsoft and Walmart.
The ban has caused a backlash among users. Many have argued that the move is a political maneuver, a negotiating tactic, a way to sound tough on China, or just an impulsive outburst. Regardless of the motivation, the announcement triggered panic among TikTok users and caused Microsoft to temporarily halt its efforts to acquire the social network.
After Trump’s comments, TikTok made additional concessions. The company said it would create 10,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next three years, as well as retain a minority stake. Earlier, the company agreed to sell a portion of its U.S. operations to another company. However, the deal was not complete, and the company is currently in negotiations with other companies.
As part of that effort, TikTok has been working to re-align its internal storage. It is close to finalizing a deal with Oracle to store its user information in the United States. Under the new agreement, the US user information will be stored separately from those in other regions. This would help alleviate the privacy concerns associated with the Chinese company’s connections.
Aside from being accused of pressuring Ukraine to find dirt on Biden, Donald Trump allegedly threatened to withhold aid from the country if it did not comply. But the majority of Republicans in the Senate acquitted him. Even so, the TikTok scandal still weighed heavily on the administration’s enemies list as the summer of 2020 arrived. In fact, the Trump administration had already made it a point to take a stand against TikTok when he made his Tulsa rally, in which teenagers reportedly claimed credit for half the seats.
The TikTok saga may be drawing to a close, but there are still some important issues to resolve. The first is whether or not a ban would harm the business. The company has more than 700 million active users worldwide, and a temporary ban would severely impact its business. The company’s interim boss Vanessa Pappas wrote in a court filing that even a temporary ban could cause its user base to stagnate. The company has also been targeted by two executive orders. Its executives have been working to keep the app from being distributed via these channels.
With more than 100 million active users in the U.S. alone, TikTok’s rapid growth is already showing signs of slowing down. Analysts at Sensor Tower believe that the company will soon pass the point of hypergrowth and enter the era of incumbency.
The social media company has been under scrutiny recently over its Chinese ownership. It also faces the threat of being banned by the United States President. The company has been a hub for viral dance routines and prank videos for years, but recently began to take on a political slant. For instance, it’s now a popular destination for videos containing political content, with hashtags like Trump2020 and Biden2020 racking up 12 billion views. TikTok is also attempting to figure out how to handle election-related content, factoring in cautionary tales from its more established social media competitors.
In the United States, TikTok is owned by Chinese company Bytedance, which operates a parallel version of the app in China. The US government has claimed that Bytedance’s involvement in TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk. However, the company has denied these claims.