After all, what could be problematic about a short-form video app featuring a bunch of teenagers and 20-somethings doing choreographed dances, roller skating, hanging out in influencer mansions and cutting into photorealistic cakes? This fourth-grader doesn't have WiFi at home. We should know these things — not just about TikTok, but about American social media apps, too. Last Friday, the US Justice Department said it would appeal that decision, which could stretch out litigation over the future of the app. Some experts see TikTok’s current predicament as a chance to change that. It's also a popular way for people to stay in touch with friends, family and business contacts in China. But ByteDance has said that the US deal does not involve the transfer of its algorithms and technologies — just that Oracle would be able to review the app's source code. Like all Chinese tech companies, ByteDance is required to abide by Chinese censorship laws, and it could be forced to give user data to the Chinese government under the country’s national security law. All rights reserved. ByteDance applied to the Chinese government last month for a license to export its technology, indicating that the company needs some kind of approval from China before the deal can go forward. After that date, the Commerce Department said internet backbone companies would be banned from carrying the app's traffic, effectively shutting down TikTok's US operations. TikTok, meanwhile, has pushed back against the claim that it poses a security risk, saying that the user data it keeps on Americans is stored stateside, with a backup in Singapore. Peter Navarro, White House trade adviser, discusses Microsoft's potential purchase of TikTok, noting that there is "suspicious stuff" between China and Microsoft. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates. Samm Sacks, a cyberpolicy fellow at the centrist think tank New America, told me that some of the solutions being proposed for TikTok — such as selling itself to American investors — wouldn’t address the core problems. Georgetown’s Chander speculates that China could retaliate for the forced sale of TikTok by limiting sales of Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Office software to certain Chinese entities. For a while, it seemed that TikTok might dodge the techlash. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. TikTok’s Chinese ownership has become a subject of intense scrutiny by lawmakers, regulators and privacy activists in recent weeks. TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance, is racing to close a deal with the American firms, US President Donald Trump and his administration, Those attacks came to a head in August, when Trump issued executive orders. As a foreign-owned app, TikTok is, in some ways, easier to regulate than an American tech platform would be. All times are ET. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. That date was delayed by a week to Sept. 27 after Trump. That demand has caused confusion, since an initial announcement about the tie-up with Oracle and Walmart implied that ByteDance would continue to own a majority of Tiktok going forward. All rights reserved. Greg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images, Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook, sees an opportunity to make TikTok “a thoughtful model of how to regulate companies that operate in both the U.S. and China.”. We don’t know how it’s using the data it’s collecting, or how it makes and enforces its rules. 2. psv (@psv) bei TikTok | 216.3K Likes. Jamie Favazza, a TikTok spokeswoman, said in a statement that in addition to the chief executive, the social network had an American as its chief information security officer and another as its head of safety. All of this might have been overlooked or forgiven, except for one fact. Updated 0235 GMT (1035 HKT) October 6, 2020. Most stock quote data provided by BATS. “This is a chance to come up with a thoughtful model of how to regulate companies that operate in both the U.S. and China, no matter their ownership,” he said. Most stock quote data provided by BATS. In addition to the appeal, Beeler is expected to reconsider her temporary halt on the ban Oct. 15. Many conservative politicians, including Mr. Trump, appear to care more about appearing tough on China than preventing potential harm to TikTok users. She added that the company’s content moderation efforts were led by U.S.-based teams and not influenced by any foreign government, and that TikTok had not and would not give data to the Chinese government. Ms. Favazza said TikTok stored American user data in Virginia and Singapore. In March, TikTok announced that it would open “transparency centers” where independent auditors could examine its content moderation practices. There are also reasons to be skeptical of the motives of TikTok’s biggest critics. Lawmakers have also raised concerns that TikTok could be used to promote pro-China propaganda to young Americans, or censor politically sensitive content. The app, which is owned by Tencent, is ubiquitous in China and is widely seen as equivalent to if Facebook, Paypal, LinkedIn and other platforms were all rolled into one. But the app store ban is not the only TikTok deadline on the US government's radar. “If the concern is data security, the best way to secure the data is to put TikTok under the microscope, and put in place really robust and enforceable rules about how they’re using and retaining data.”. And Silicon Valley tech companies like Facebook, whose executives have warned of the dangers of a Chinese tech takeover, would surely like to see regulators kneecap one of their major competitors. TikTok could also try to push that deadline back. The debate over TikTok’s fate, in other words, should really be a debate about how all of the big tech companies that entertain, inform and influence billions of people should operate, and what should be required of them, whether they’re based in China or Copenhagen or California.
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