President Donald Trump isn't budging from his hardline mandate that the social media service TikTok either be banned from use in America or sold to a company like Microsoft. Well, TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance is drawing its own hard line in the sand, by reportedly taking the stance that it would rather see TikTok banned in the US than let it be sold off. Street Insider claims that it has three sources reporting that despite having been in negotiations with companies like Oracle and Microsoft, ByteDance and Chinese officials "believe a forced sale would make both ByteDance and China appear weak in the face of pressure from Washington."
Additional reporting seems to indicate that ByteDance is disputing ever having had plans of shutting down TikTok in the US or other markets; meanwhile, China was reportedly willing to delay any sale that ByteDance reached a deal on. Though Chinese officials are not commenting on any such actions at this time. China's foreign ministry spokesman addressed the matter during a regular press conference on Friday, claiming that the US was "abusing the concept of national security," with a call for America to stop "oppressing foreign companies."
President Trump issued executive orders banning TikTok this summer. Specifically, the order makes it illegal for US companies to do business with ByteDance, though the reasoning for that has been called into question. The Trump administration has cited suspicious or unsecured user data collection practices by the Chinese company, with Trump stating that TikTok's “data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
However, there's a lot of speculation that President Trump actually has a personal grudge against TikTok. The president's big rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma was severely undermined by the younger generation of TikTok users, who have used the platform to consistently take shots at the president and his administration.
Whatever the case may be, the ban on TikTok appears to be going through. The situation has already caused major waves at the company, as CEO Kevin Mayer quit just months after taking the job, due to the looming Trump ban. Mayer was replaced by Vanessa Pappas, who issued this statement of confidence:
“I want to say thank you to the millions of Americans who use TikTok every day. Bringing their creativity and joy into our daily lives. We’ve heard your outpouring of support and we want to say thank you, and we’re not planning on going anywhere,” Pappas said weeks ago. “TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, create ideas, and connect with individuals across different backgrounds. We are so proud of the various communities that call TikTok their home. I’m also proud of our 1,500 U.S. employees that work on this app every day. The additional 10,000 jobs that we’re bringing into this country over the next three years.”
How do you feel about the possibility of TikTok shutting down in the U.S.? Let us know down in the comments!