TikTok ‘right here for the long term’ within the US

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Reuters

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TikTok is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance

The US normal supervisor of TikTok has stated the Chinese-owned video-sharing app is “right here for the long term”, after President Donald Trump stated he would ban it within the US.

Vanessa Pappas informed TikTok customers in a video assertion that its employees had been constructing “the most secure app”.

Mr Trump stated he may quickly signal an government order, amid considerations the app may very well be used to gather Americans’ private information.

TikTok denies any Chinese management.

The fast-growing app has as much as 80 million lively month-to-month customers within the US and the ban can be a significant blow for the Chinese agency ByteDance which owns it.

It was not instantly clear what authority Mr Trump has to ban TikTok, how that ban can be enforced and what authorized challenges it might face.

Reuters information company reported on Saturday that ByteDance had agreed to fully divest TikTok’s US operations. Previously the Chinese firm had sought to maintain a minority stake, with Microsoft reportedly in talks to purchase the app.

But sources quoted by Reuters stated ByteDance would exit fully and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok within the US.

The transfer to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese authorities over quite a few points, together with commerce disputes and Beijing’s dealing with of the coronavirus outbreak.

What did Ms Pappas say?

TikTok’s US normal supervisor stated the corporate had heard an “outpouring of assist” for the app, and thanked the “thousands and thousands of Americans” who used it day by day.

“We’re not planning on going wherever,” she stated.

Addressing considerations about information safety, she stated TikTok was behaving responsibly.

“When it involves security and safety, we’re constructing the most secure app, as a result of we all know it is the correct factor to do,” she stated.

“We’re right here for the long term, proceed to share your voice right here and let’s stand for TikTok.”

What is TikTok?

The platform has exploded in recognition in recent times, largely with individuals beneath 20.

They use the app to share 15-second movies that always contain lip-synching to songs, comedy routines and weird enhancing tips.

These movies are then made obtainable to each followers and strangers. By default, all accounts are public, though customers can prohibit uploads to an authorised record of contacts.

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Media captionWATCH: What is TikTok?

TikTok additionally permits non-public messages to be despatched however this facility is restricted to “pals”.

The app is reported to have round 800 million lively month-to-month customers, most of whom are within the US and India.

India has already blocked TikTok in addition to different Chinese apps. Australia, which has already banned Huawei and telecom equipment-maker ZTE, can also be contemplating banning TikTok.

Why Trump dislikes TikTok

Analysis by James Clayton, BBC North America know-how correspondent

Trump’s dislike of TikTok goes additional than simply privateness considerations.

In India TikTok was banned after a border skirmish with China – it was caught up in a geopolitical feud. And that is what’s occurred right here, too. Trump’s sights are set firmly on China – and this ought to be seen by way of that lens.

TikTok says that it would not hold any information in China and would by no means give it to China.

But, in some ways it would not matter what they are saying, the truth that they’re owned by a Chinese’s firm is guilt sufficient.

Not to be neglected both is Trump’s earlier expertise with TikTok.

Last month customers claimed to have scuppered his Tulsa rally after signing as much as tickets they’d no intention of utilizing.

And though there are Republican and conservative voices on TikTok, the profile of customers within the US is mostly younger and liberal/left.

It’s arduous to consider that is not an element right here.

Why is the US involved about TikTok?

US officers and politicians have raised considerations information collected by ByteDance by way of TikTok could find yourself being handed to the Chinese authorities.

TikTok operates an identical however separate model of the app in China, referred to as Douyin. It says all US person information is saved within the US, with a backup in Singapore.

This week, TikTok informed customers and regulators it might observe a excessive degree of transparency, together with permitting opinions of its algorithms.

“We usually are not political, we don’t settle for political promoting and haven’t any agenda – our solely goal is to stay a vibrant, dynamic platform for everybody to take pleasure in,” the CEO of TikTok, Kevin Mayer, said in a post this week.

“TikTok has change into the most recent goal, however we aren’t the enemy.”

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Media captionWATCH: Will TikTok be banned?

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