Chinese short video app, TikTok has been at the center of controversies in recent times. The company is currently facing a possible ban in the U.S. and it does not have many options. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has to sell the U.S. arm of TikTok to an American company or face a ban. While it is in discussions with Microsoft, there are other salient potential American buyers. According to U.S. president, Donald Trump, ByteDance have until September 15th to sell TikTok. However, it appears that ByteDance is not willing to sell TikTok.
TikTok has officially filed a lawsuit against the US government and is now waiting for the court proceedings. According to ByteDance, its appeal against the International Emergency Economic Rights Act (IEEPA) is quite rare. It also stated that it has very little chance of success but it will still give it a try. Presently, TikTok has shut down its American business and this is a blow for thousands of Americans.
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According to ByteDance, the shutdown affects over 1500 TikTok employees in the U.S. It also affects thousands of partners in the United States. For this reason, the company is still intensively assessing the damage to the legitimate rights and interests of employees, users, and partners after the shutdown.
TikTok US is run by Americans – so why the ban?
The company pointed out in the complaint that the U.S. government has ignored TikTok’s tremendous efforts to serve the U.S. market. For example, the main personnel responsible for TikTok in the U.S. are Americans. The CEO, global chief security officer, and general counsel of the company in the U.S. are all Americans. These people are not subject to Chinese laws. In addition, American content review is also led by the American team and operates independently of China. Moreover, the TikTok app stores US user data on servers in the US and Singapore. This suggests that nothing about the company’s American business goes to China.
The company also disclosed for the first time the details of its monthly active users in the United States and around the world. The document shows that in June 2020, TikTok’s monthly active users in the United States soared to more than 91 million.
Globally, there is a huge increase in the number of TikTok users. As of January 2018, the total number of users worldwide was about 55 million. By December 2018, it had soared to more than 271 million, and by December 2019 it had further soared to 507 million. This month, TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 billion times worldwide, and the number of global monthly active users in July approached 700 million.