Chinese apps are always a topic of debate whenever it comes to user data privacy. Currently, several big Chinese apps and companies have been alleged for security breaches. One such app is TikTok.
TikTok is one of the most popular and influential app currently in the world. It is a video creation and sharing platform that has got immense success and popularity in that last couple of years. It is said that the app has got around 2 billion downloads across the globe. Among the 2 billion downloads, it has got the 315 million downloads within the first quarter of 2020 itself.
However, despite being such popular, some agencies and governments have declared it as a threat to national security and banned it. Following this, the US President has also signed an executive order banning TikTok. Although this time, TikTok has also decided to challenge the orders of authorities and sue the Trump Administration. Let’s have a detailed look at the entire scenario.
Executive Order Signed By Trump Administration
Following the ban of TikTok by various other big countries, including India, the US President has signed an executive order on August 6, 2020. The order states to block almost every transaction with ByteDance considering the national emergency concerning the information and communication technology supply chain. This order has enforced the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act and has been planned to take effect within 45 days.
However, within a few days after passing the first executive order, the Trump administration has passed another executive order as well. On August 14, 2020, an executive order got signed by the US President stating that ByteDance should sell the TikTok or create a subsidiary in the US within 90 days. While signing the order, Trump stated that “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
Not just President Trump, but several other people have also indicated the ban on TikTok in the US. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also compared TikTok with Huawei and ZTE. Both these Chinese companies have been considered as a threat to national security by the US administration.
However, this is not the first time when Chinese apps and companies have got accused of posing a threat to user data privacy and national security.
Reaction of Us Biggies after The Executive Order
As the executive order stated that ByteDance should sell TikTok or create a subsidiary for it in the US, various tech biggies got evoked with it. And it is quite obvious as TikTok is one of the biggest video sharing platform in the world right now. Hence, there is no surprise that everyone is looking to acquire it.
A lot of big names in the US and world tech industry have shown their interest in acquiring TikTok. One such name is Microsoft. The multi-billion-dollar organization is in the talks for buying TikTok. Company’s CEO Satya Nadella has stated in a Microsoft blog that “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
However, the thoughts of Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates are quite contradicting. He has stated that the potential deal is a poisoned chalice.
There are various other big names as well that are racing to acquire TikTok. Twitter and Oracle are among those names and also are in talks to acquire the successful video sharing platform.
Tiktok’s Reaction on The Executive Orders against It
Despite the multiple executive orders passed by the US administration against TikTok, it doesn’t seem that the company is going to surrender to the administration. Instead of submitting to the orders, TikTok has decided to challenge them. The spokesman of the company has informed the media that the company is not happy with the administration’s concerns. And hence, instead of obliging to the orders, they have decided to challenge them judicially.
The spokesman said that ‘Even though we strongly disagree with the administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution.’ To this, he has also added that ‘What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.’ He said that the company has decided to challenge the decisions by stating ‘To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the Executive Order through the judicial system.’
That’s all for now. What’s your opinion on the above situation? If you want to know more such updates about the government’s actions in the technology industry and the legislation changes, then stay tuned with Tech Shouters.