Tiktok seems to be getting banned in the US soon. The USA President Donald Trump has announced that he is, very soon, banning the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok in the country. In a press conference, Trump told reporters that he is gonna sign an executive order on Saturday, i.e., today.
The action to ban Tiktok is due to fear that the app’s owner ByteDance, a Chinese company, could use it to collect the personal data of Americans. However, the Chinese firm has denied the accusations of being controlled by the Chinese government.
As of now, TikTok has 80 million active monthly users in the USA. If the app gets banned, it will act as a major blow for ByteDance.
But, it wasn’t revealed how Trump will ban TikTok, what authority does he have over the app, how the ban on the app would be enforced, by what means, and if & what legal challenges it would face.
Is Microsoft Buying TikTok?
As per a report, Microsoft seemed interested in buying TikTok app from ByteDance. But, it seems doubtful as Trump isn’t likely to allow such a deal to go through. If the deal happens, ByteDance would lose control over TikTok’s US operations as per the report.
When asked to a TikTok spokesperson about the app getting banned in the US. The representative couldn’t say anything. However, US media outlets were told that the firm was confident in the long-term success of the app in the USA.
The talks to ban TikTok has come at a time of high tensions between the two countries – the USA and China. India has already banned TikTok recently. The Trump administration and the Chinese government have issues over a number of things. It includes trade disputes and how Beijing has handled the coronavirus outbreak.
What is TikTok?
The video-creation-and-sharing app has become hugely popular in recent years. It is mostly famous among under 25. The young generation uses the app to create 15-seconds approx video, most of which are lip-synching to songs, comedy routines, and unusual editing tricks.
After posting the videos, the followers and strangers get access to those videos. With the default setting, all the accounts are public. However, users have the option to restrict their uploads to select contacts. The users can also send private messages but only to their friends on the platform.
Speaking globally, TikTok has got around 500 million active monthly users. A large chunk of its audience lies in the US and India. Not only TikTok, India have already banned 58 other Chinese apps. Australia has already banned Huawei and telecom equipment maker ZTE. As of now, the Australian government is also considering placing a ban on TikTok.
Why is the US concerned about TikTok? The Reason
Over time, the US officials and politicians have expressed their fear that ByteDance may pass on the data collected by TikTok to the Chinese government.
TikTok has a similar but separate app for the Chinese users, named Douyin. According to the company, the data of the US users are stored in the country itself along with a backup in Singapore.
When the banning talks got high, the app told its users and regulators that it would allow a high level of transparency along with allowing reviews for its algorithms.
“We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda – our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy,” the CEO of TikTok, Kevin Mayer, said in a post this week.