TikTok has run afoul of the US government, just like other Chinese companies before it. With the US and other countries concerned over the use of data from users of the video platform, and despite the protestations and insistence of no wrong-doing by TikTok the US looks set to act on it.
In his ever-growing nature of making the world ever more US-centric President Trump is set to announce a decision to make ByteDance Ltd sell its ownership of TikTok. In his most eloquent of speeches (which is a very low bar) Trump said:
“We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok. We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
Although we are unsure he understands how apps work and you coming up with an “alternative” to an app does not make it successful he seems set to go ahead with his plans as early as today. The statement by Trump has not been confirmed by the White House as they most likely madly scramble to deal with the fall out of yet another one of his random brain farts.
The suggestion is that data obtained by TikTok could be handed over to the Chinese government and despite TikTok putting in safeguards to prevent this from ever happening the fear is still there. TikTok, the company, has been looking at ways of distancing itself from its Chinese owners/shareholders and this could well provide the impetus for that to occur.
So who would buy TikTok? How about Microsoft? A Fox Business News personality has suggested that one interested buying is Microsoft, although it is unclear how this will fit into their suite of apps — LinkedIn TikTok?
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) July 31, 2020
We are unsure how this will affect TikTok worldwide but you would hope that for those that love it it does not change it at all and for the rest of us that it dies a quick death.
If the US Government is able to force this sale it may signal changes in the future — what else could they force to be sold? Do more apps need to be careful going forwards not to invoke the ire of the US Government? We will keep you posted of any developments.