More painful than a knife, is life and death. In just two days, the news was fickle and ups and downs. TikTok’s American fate is shrouded in shadows. Whether it was forced to sell to the American giant or was it unable to accept a complete blockade. Byte Dance is nervously awaiting the final decision of the Trump administration, and the already-determined sale has been forced to halt.
The president is inclined to block it completely.
Friday morning, July 31, Bloomberg reported that the White House could issue an executive order as soon as Saturday to pressure Byte Dance to sell TikTok’s U.S. business, citing national security concerns, or risk blocking the app. U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the news to the media before leaving for Florida, saying he was “considering a number of options for TikTok that could be blocked.”
Several U.S. media outlets later reported that Microsoft and Byte Dance were in talks about a deal to buy TikTok, possibly from Microsoft to take over TikTok’s U.S. operations. Clearly, Byte Dance has long known the attitude of the U.S. government and is already preparing for the TikTok America’s exit. The White House has been pushing for the sale of TikTok’s U.S. business over the past few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, making it clear that it wants a U.S. company to hold it.
But on Friday night, on his way back from Florida to Washington, Mr. Trump said he would soon sign an executive order blocking the TikTok business in the United States. He specifically stressed that he preferred to block TikTok altogether and had every right to do so. Surprisingly, Mr. Trump also made it clear that he does not support a U.S. company’s acquisition of TikTok’s U.S. business.
On Saturday, August 1st, U.S. media reported that Microsoft and Byte Dance had suspended takeover talks because of Mr. Trump’s explicit opposition to a U.S. company’s acquisition of TikTok’s U.S. business. It is reported that the two sides have entered the previous negotiations into an in-depth stage. Mr. Trump’s comments surprised both sides. Microsoft and Byte Dance have therefore decided to suspend negotiations and wait for the official position to be clear, and the possibility of tough measures by the US government cannot be ruled out.
Plans for a ban began last year.
Is this the desire of the United States Government, or is it determined to kill it all? However, The fate of TikTok America is not in its own hands. In the face of the superpower’s state apparatus, no internet company can do anything. Whether Byte Dance will be able to sell TikTok’s U.S. business at a reasonable price is also unknown.
The campaign to encircle TikTok began last year. Some Republican lawmakers have called on the Trump administration to consider The National Security Risks of TikTok, arguing that China may obtain information about U.S. users through TikTok. While Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided on other domestic issues, they are close on issues involving TikTok, and Democratic congressional leaders are not opposed to a national security risk investigation into TikTok.
Late last year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews foreign investment operations, began an investigation into TikTok. Because ByteDance’s $1 billion acquisition of Music.ly in 2017 was not approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment, Music.ly had tens of millions of users in the U.S. who were subsequently incorporated into TikTok.
The warm-up campaign to block TikTok has also been under way: late last year the Pentagon asked military personnel to remove the TikTok app; In addition, big U.S. companies such as Wells Fargo are asking employees to uninstall TikTok on their work phones. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo publicly said in late June that he was considering blocking TikTok.
In fact, Byte Dance had long foreseen the political risks of TikTok, and had made many layouts in advance. TikTok and Shake, though twins, are two completely separate applications. TikTok management has also repeatedly stated that its servers are based in Singapore and that user data will never be sent back to China, let alone that it has never received any orders to request data.
Exiting the United States is unacceptable.
After a marked deterioration in the U.S. regulatory environment, Byte Dance has spent a lot of time lobbying this year: poaching Disney executive Kevin Meyer as TikTok CEO and using top U.S. officials to respond to U.S. policy; declaring a total rejection of political advertising and never interfering in U.S. elections; investing heavily in lobbying teams in Washington, including Republican leaders and Trump friends; and announcing the creation of TikTok’s global headquarters overseas. To invest in the United States to create jobs.
However, these moves have not helped to change the US government’s scepticism about tik Tok’s holdings of Chinese ownership. Last year, the White House forced Kunlun VanVey to sell Grindr, a gay dating site it acquired in 2016, on the same national security grounds, fearing that China’s parliament would approve Kunlun’s access to the personal data of gay internet users in the United States. In March, Kunlun Eventually sold its major stake in Grindr to a US company for $600m.
Byte Dance yesterday agreed to spin off TikTok’s U.S. operations, which are being taken over by U.S. internet giant Microsoft, to protect TikTok’s data, Reuters reported. Byte Dance initially tried to retain a minority stake in TikTok, but the idea was rejected by the White House. The U.S. government’s attitude is clear, and Chinese must withdraw completely from TikTok’s U.S. business. However, Byte Dance’s US investors are likely to retain a stake in TikTok.
It is no exaggeration to say that TikTok is by far the most successful international expansion of China’s mobile Internet applications. According to DataReportal, TikTok currently has 800 million monthly users in 155 markets around the world. TikTok ranks seventh in the world in terms of monthly users, behind Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Instagram, and even more than QQ, Twitter and Snapchat.
But exiting the U.S. market is an unacceptable option. TikTok has about 40 million active users in the U.S., the most valuable user group, and The core competencies of the platform are the core of American entertainment stars and celebrity bloggers on TikTok. More seriously, the Indian government has previously blocked TikTok on national security grounds, costing TikTok 120m active users, and if it is banned by the US government, it is likely to trigger other US and European attempts to follow suit. Then the valuation and attractiveness of the platform could lose half of that.
Microsoft holds a safe and secure.
Byte Dance apparently did a risk assessment of TikTok’s blocking before eventually agreeing to sell its stake in TikTok. While the U.S. government has never had a history of directly blocking an app or website, the White House does have the power to take action against foreign companies’ businesses in the U.S. on national security grounds, meaning no concrete evidence is required.
Specific blocking measures that the U.S. government can take include, but are not limited to, the direct closure of TikTok’s U.S. offices in the name of investigation, the requirement that Apple and Google App Stores be placed on TikTok, the inclusion of TikTok on the Commerce Department’s list of entities, a ban on U.S. companies doing business with them, a ban on U.S. advertisers advertising in TikTok, and even a ban on financial institutions providing services to TikTok.
If Byte Dance continues to hold TikTok, it will be difficult to successfully sue if it is blocked. U.S. federal courts are unlikely to interfere with federal efforts to block foreign companies on national security grounds. In March last year, Huawei also sued the U.S. government, arguing that the National Defense Authorization Act’s blocking of Huawei’s products and services violated the U.S. Constitution, only to be rejected without incident. Precedents for previous failures in the lawsuit include Kaspersky, the Russian anti-virus software.
But if Microsoft buys TikTok’s U.S. business, it means the app is an asset to U.S. companies. If the U.S. government is to appeal, it will need to provide clear evidence of the violation, or Microsoft will be able to appeal against the government because it violates the U.S. Constitution’s Right act, which says the government cannot criminalize and deprive the accused of its legitimate rights without trial.
For Microsoft, the productivity and cloud computing giant, the acquisition of TikTok is another bold development in social networking. Microsoft bought The professional social networking site LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. But nearly half of TikTok’s users are teenagers, and the corporate culture and user base seem to be significantly different from other Microsoft products and services. What future prospects for TikTok will look after entering Microsoft is also unknown.
Is Trump a vendetta?
It’s Saturday, and Trump is relaxing on the golf course as usual. But both Microsoft and Byte Dance are nervously waiting for the White House to make further statements. A White House spokesman said, “The U.S. government is taking the national security concerns raised by TikTok very seriously.” We will continue to evaluate future policies. “
Some of The TikTok’s celebrity bloggers have begun to say goodbye to their fans this morning and move to other social platforms such as Instagram, as the president has expressed support for a complete ban. While Facebook is unlikely to buy TikTok USA for antitrust reasons, Facebook and Snapchat will clearly be the biggest beneficiaries if TikTok is blocked.
TikTok America is still making its final rescue efforts. This morning, the general manager of TikTok USA publicly stated that TikTok would not leave the United States to create a secure social product, and TikTok also announced plans to continue to invest in the United States, creating 10,000 jobs in the United States over the next three years. But whether that statement will change the White House’s attitude toward Tik Tok is entirely unknown.
At least one thing is for sure, Trump does dislike TikTok very much. Although TikTok, in order to avoid political risks, had announced early that he would reject all political ads and never interfere in the U.S. election, TikTok could not stop usergroups on the platform from organizing anti-Trump campaigns. It also left TikTok helpless to offend Trump.
On June 20, Trump resumed his re-election campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His re-election campaign has been hit hard by the dire handling of the epidemic and anti-discrimination demonstrations across the country, which have lagged significantly behind Biden in several swing states. As a result, Mr. Trump has placed a particular focus on the Tulsa campaign. His campaign proudly declared that nearly a million people had registered to attend the rally, a sign that the public still supported the president.
But by the day of the rally, just over 6,000 people had arrived, and tens of thousands of people’s stadiums were empty. Mr. Trump was surprised and disappointed by the scene, which was ridiculed on social media and in the mainstream media. According to media reports later, many teenagers organized sabotage events on the TikTok platform, using fake names to book tickets for Trump’s re-election rally, causing a large number of registered participants to confuse the Trump camp.
It is not known how much the incident will affect Mr. Trump. But over the past month, the White House has been putting pressure on him to warm up for a blockade of Tik Tok. Just after Byte Dance was forced to agree to sell TikTok’s U.S. business to Microsoft, news broke that Trump wanted to block TikTok altogether.
Is Trump really going to kill and completely block TikTok America, or is he again a mascutag operation to force Byte Dance to sell TikTok at a jump price?