In a report by Reuters, TikTok owners are considering selling their US stake in the company to avoid a ban in the United States.
The video-sharing social media app took the internet by storm in 2020 with over 800 million active users around the world.
Before the fame
In 2019, only a few people in the world knew about TikTok (formerly called as Musical.ly). The Beijing-based application shares the likes of Vine, which was another internet hit during its time.
Only after a year, TikTok enjoyed a rapid and exponential growth— enough to make it into the top 10 most downloaded social media apps of the year.
Thanks to TikTok’s success, a new wave of internet celebrities such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae came into the limelight with millions of followers over the TikTok videos they uploaded.
But despite the global popularity, security and privacy concerns have grown recently because of the app’s usage of personal data.
It’s even more controversial considering the app’s origin in Beijing, China’s capital. In case you missed it, the USA and China have been experiencing growing tensions recently.
Suspicions of TikTok using private user data have also grown, which may be one of the reasons why the POTUS told reporters he wanted to ban the app in the USA on July 31.
Big-time content creators on the app also began to speak against using the platform, such as Fortnite streamer Ninja who’s had a sudden change of heart:
“I have deleted the TIK TOK app off all my devices. Hopefully a less intrusive company (data farming) that isn’t owned by China can recreate the concept legally, such funny and amazing content on the app from influencers.”
Prior to the increased security concerns, Ninja has been regularly uploading TikTok videos enjoyed by his millions of fans across the world.
Response to impending ban
Answering the impending ban, Reuters found out that the Chinese owners of TikTok, ByteDance, have agreed to sell their stake to US-based company Microsoft.
This was done in the hopes of avoiding a blanket ban in the country.
“Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft will be in charge of protecting all U.S. user data,”
“The plan allows for another U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.”
Rumors about Microsoft purchasing TikTok and launching its own spin-off to avoid an entire ban have been circulating on the internet for a while now.
But, the POTUS seems to be against the idea, according to New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman.
“POTUS made clear he is against proposed spinoff of Tik Tok with a resale to Microsoft or another company.”
It’s still unconfirmed if TikTok will be able to remain in the US market if it was owned by another company, but ByteDance seems to be eager to protect TikTok’s legacy and future even if it means they have to step away from any direct involvement.