Sell the company or face a possible US ban?
This is the decision that TikTok’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, may have to make.
TikTok may be up for sale in the U.S. based on a potential order from President Donald Trump, according to a report soon that quotes “people who are familiar with the matter”. The order would force ByteDance to part with its popular viral video app.
When asked about choosing TikTok on Friday, Trump told the White House press pool that a ban was on the table.
“We are looking at Tiktok. We may be prohibiting TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There are some options, but many things will happen. So we will see what happens, but we look at many alternatives related to Tiktok,”
Charles Gasparino, senior correspondent for Fox Business Network, also claims that Microsoft is interested in acquiring TikTok.
Remember Bloomberg and Fox Business only offered unnamed sources. Take all of these options with a grain of salt.
If the order came off, it would be reminiscent of last year’s LGBTQ dating app Grindr. As mentioned earlier, the U.S. Foreign Investment Committee forced Chinese app owners, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd., to disconnect from Grindr. The agency reviews foreign investments in US companies. The most recent focus seems to be on how foreign governments can access data from US users.
The Trump administration has focused on potential privacy issues with TikTok in recent weeks. The president’s reelection campaign 2020 even ran social media ads, which are the most popular generation Z social media app over user clipboard claims. (TikTok users trolled Trump hard and signed up for a Tulsa rally in June, so it looked like visitor numbers were high. Participation in the rally was much, much less than expected.)
In early July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo specifically said the government was considering banning TikTok from the United States because of its relations with China. In May, TikTok appointed Kevin Mayer, the former head of Disney Streaming, as CEO of TikTok. As many news agencies have found, hiring an American CEO could have been a strategy to favor US politicians.
As early as 2018, ByteDance launched TikTok, the global version of its popular Chinese app Douyin. It was launched in the U.S. by renaming Musical.ly, a similar U.S. app for $ 1 billion in 2017.
Earlier this year, TikTok broke the phone and became one of the most popular global smartphone apps ever.