The TikTok sale hits a snag because of algorithm problems on the company’s side. Chinese government officials have implemented some new restrictions according to The Wall Street Journal. How the app gathers information has been front and center in all conversations about the massively popular social media platform. United States President Donald Trump has voiced concerns about the information gathering capacities of the app. In addition to that, he would also like TikTok to sell their U.S. operations to a domestic company. Trump went so far as to sign an executive order effectively crippling the platform in America if it isn’t sold to a United States company in a short amount of time. Well, now China wants to make sure that their artificial intelligence tech doesn’t just fly out of the window.
The Journal’s report says, “The algorithms, which determine the videos served to users and are seen as TikTok’s secret sauce, were considered part of the deal negotiations up until Friday, when the Chinese government issued new restrictions on the export of artificial intelligence technology, according to people familiar with the matter.”
Compounding these frustrations, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer stepped down last week. The executive didn’t enjoy all the political controversy surrounding the company. He gave his final thoughts as CEO to the workers.
“In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mr. Mayer said according to the New York Times. “Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”
Vanessa Pappas is now the global head of the company. She will have to guide TikTok into the next phase. In recent weeks, she’s been trying to massage some fears as the ban grows nearer.
“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 on TikTok’s Twitter account. “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.”
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