TikTok versus Trump Turmoil

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President Trump’s plan on banning TikTok and restricting the apps’ use in the United States of America (Courtesy of Rolling Stone).

With the recent rise in popularity of the app’s usage from teens to even teachers, TikTok, known as Douyin in China, made headlines over this summer as it crossed from mere entertainment to a political spotlight. 

TikTok was created and is used in China, but with its global success, the company had to expand to be more accessible to international users. This resulted in the creation of TikTok Global, a company head representing the global TikTok users outside of China. As the app is used by many, it also shares its total number of users here at Parkview. 

Even though TikTok repeatedly denied taking personal information for data, NPR News reported the President’s logic was: “Since TikTok’s corporate parent company ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing, TikTok could be used as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party to spy on American citizens or cause other mischief.” With this logic, the President has been trying to place a ban on the app and make it unavailable in the United States. The Trump Administration has not provided evidence that spying has occurred. 

With this action, the administration decided in August the app would need an American company to secure data on American soil for the app to stay in the U.S. The computer software company Oracle, which specializes in managing information and applications, bought a 20% share of the app on Sunday. The deal was also cut with Walmart who secured an equal share. 

This will result in ByteDance owning 80% of  TikTok Global, and still holding the majority of control. However, this does not entirely settle the problem of the app not being U.S. owned.  “The administration is clear that they want to get Chinese tech off of U.S. networks, so I wonder if they’ll want to push this further after time,” said former State Department official Jim Lewis (KPCW.org). When referring to “Chinese tech,” Lewis means many forms of technology from China. This includes other apps like WeChat that are also Chinese owned and used in America.