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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

TikTok for sale in the US. The company is not giving up its weapons

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ByteDance does not intend to give up and divest itself of its business in the United States after Joe Biden signs the law banning TikTok, reports the BBC. Earlier, TikTok representatives announced that they would challenge the “unconstitutional” decision of the US president in court. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew emphasized that the company is “not going anywhere.”

“If the Chinese company exhausts all legal options to stay on the American market, ByteDance will sooner close TikTok than sell it,” writes the British daily “The Guardian”, citing four sources related to the case.

Previously, the media suggested the possibility of selling the American part of TikTok after the adoption of a law in the US, according to which TikTok will either change ownership or cease to be available in the United States.

The bill, signed by U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday, requires ByteDance to sell TikTok to a non-Chinese investor. If this is not done within 12 months, the platform will lose access to hosting services in the USA, which means it will no longer be available in America. The US and other Western countries fear that China's communist authorities have access to data collected by TikTok.

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Concerns about the boundaries between business and Chinese authorities

Members of Congress and U.S. administration officials have repeatedly expressed sharp criticism and concerns about the app, which is popular among young Americans. The services also warned against the platform, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, who stated that it posed a threat to national security.

He argued, among other things, that due to the virtually non-existent boundaries between business and authorities in the PRC, Chinese services may be able to obtain sensitive data about American users, manipulate the recommendation algorithm, which can be used to conduct influence operations, and potentially surveil devices which the application is installed.

The Chinese deny it

The company denied these claims, arguing, among other things, ownership structure. He claims that the Chinese founders of ByteDance own 20 percent. shares, institutional investors, including American ones – 60 percent, and the remaining 20 percent belongs to employees around the world. However, the Chinese government, as recalled by the BBC, denied the truth of Western countries' fears, describing them as paranoid. Although the United States previously managed to force the sale of shares by Chinese companies, according to the AP agency, the current situation is different because TikTok was created exclusively for the foreign market and is perceived as proof of the technological power of the PRC.

Gawskowski: no one should have TikTok on their work phone

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Affairs Krzysztof Gawkowski was asked on Friday on Radio Three about the list of dangerous equipment and applications that should not be used by Polish users, especially by officials.

He said that the ministry is not working to block “any platform operators.”

– But I recommend it to all users – no one should have applications that raise doubts on work devices. Should someone have TikTok on their work device? NO. No one should have TikTok on their work device, he stressed.

He admitted that he had created an account on this website in the past, but the application was not installed on his work phone. He added that he no longer uses it.

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Main photo source: Shutterstock



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