As you’ve probably heard by now, Chinese video app, TikTok has been at the center of controversies in the past weeks. The situation escalated even further on Thursday, when the White House issued an executive order that bans TikTok from doing business with US companies. According to the WH, “the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States”.
TikTok: This the Company’s Official Statement Following the Ban
Today, TikTok issued a public statement in response to the claims made by the US government. It says:
We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts; dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.
We made clear our intentions to work with the appropriate officials to devise a solution to benefit our users, creators, partners, employees, and the broader community in the United States. There has been, and continues to be, no due process or adherence to the law. The text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed “reports” with no citations, fears that the app “may be” used for misinformation campaigns with no substantiation of such fears, and concerns about the collection of data that is industry standard for thousands of mobile apps.
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We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government; nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center; which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to. We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.
This the Company’s Official Statement Following the Ban
This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth. And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. TikTok will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded; and that our company and our users are treated fairly; if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.
We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always. As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family, you have the right to express your opinions to your elected representatives; including the White House. You have the right to be hear.TikTok
Sadly we are quite confident the words from TikTok won’t actually change any minds in the White House. Trump and his administration have clearly decided to ban any Chinese company that achieves success in the US; as we’ve already seen happening with Huawei. Once again, a ban enacted without a due process and based on no real evidence. At the moment, TikTok is only culpable of being Chinese, as far as we know.