In a report from The Wall Street Journal, it seems that the US government is this close 👉👈 from banning TikTok – unless the Chinese portion of owners sell their stake. Let’s talk about it!
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Biden administration is demanding TikTok’s Chinese owners sell their stake in the company, otherwise TikTok is goin’ bye-bye:
TikTok executives have said that 60% of ByteDance shares are owned by global investors, 20% by employees and 20% by its founders, though the founders’ shares carry outsize voting rights, as is common with tech companies. The company was founded in Beijing in 2012 by Zhang Yiming, ByteDance Chief Executive Liang Rubo and others.The Wall Street Journal
Many government agencies, including the US and UK, have been increasingly concerned regarding TIkTok’s ability to collect data on their country’s citizens, with these agencies going as far as outright banning the app on any of their employee’s devices.
Though, as The Wall Street Journal’s report states, TikTok doesn’t believe the act of their Chinese owners selling their stakes would do much in the way of protecting national security:
If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or accessTikTok spokesperson, Brooke Oberwetter
TikTok has already pledged to spend an estimated $1.5 billion on a program to safeguard US user’s data in an effort to keep analytics from the access or influence of Chinese government agencies.
The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementingTikTok spokesperson, Brooke Oberwetter
Other than TikTok’s plan to protect US user data, they have also suggested plans to have the US-based Oracle Corp. given access to TikTok’s algorithm, allowing the company to flag any potential issues for government inspection.
I mean, these are all seemingly agreeable terms; however, US officials remained unconvinced.
It’s hard to say how this crusade against TikTok will shake out, but I think we can all safely say that our smartphone screen-time will definitely drop if TikTok is banned – but what about the cat memes!