Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, said on Thursday that any American company will find that absorbing TikTok is “really challenging”. This statement plays down the speculation that Snap intends to bid for TikTok’s US business. According to him, without TikTok’s team of engineers, acquiring TikTok is a huge deal.
Mr. Spigel said at FT Weekend Festival “For whoever purchases TikTok, it basically requires you to build the entire core technology from the ground up to support the service and to do so without any engineering talent…Typically if you buy a business, it comes with a really talented team. I think for us the team is usually everything…It’s not surprising to me that the United States government would be uncomfortable having large Chinese technology companies operate and collect a lot of user data here in the United States…Certainly, China doesn’t allow US companies to do that over there. It is “obvious” that TikTok would attract criticism from US politicians and regulators on the basis of reciprocity and free trade”.
Snap usually tends to recruit their engineers when acquiring companies, and this is unlikely to happen on TikTok. ByteDance has been ordered by the Trump administration to sell TikTok’s US business by mid-September. Failure to do so will cause the company to face a ban. Trump said that TikTok poses a national security threat to the United States.
TikTok’s purchase will not easy with new Chinese regulations
Microsoft (joined with Wal-Mart) and Oracle are currently strong competitors for the acquisition of TikTok’s US business. However, the sale process still faces multiple obstacles, including a solution that separates TikTok’s back-end technology from ByteDance. Last weekend, China introduced new export control regulations to make this sale more complicated. According to the new export regulations, the personal information recommendation service from ByteDance with respect to data analysis is within the scope of export control, and the export of this technology is likely to require government approval.
Presently, Epic’s popular game “Fortnite” is no longer in the App Store by Apple. This led Epic to file a lawsuit against Apple. Microsoft and Facebook have since criticized Apple’s actions. Spiegel believes that if Apple charges too high, he is sure that Apple will naturally “change and develop”. This is because it will eventually “harm Apple itself”.