According to NBC News Trump informed reporters that he will ban Tik Tok, one of the world's most loved app The executive order could be signed as quickly as Saturday he said. However, the president did not comment about any specific course of action, according to ABC news he told reporters in Florida;
"We're looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok."
"We’ll see what happens, but we're looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok,"
The US is not the first country that has raised concerns about the app being used to collect personal data of American users, names, birth dates, and location data. Let's not forget the biggest concern, facial recognition that comes into play. Questions most definitely need to be asked about who has access to this personal information.
Australia has raised concerns however according to Channel 9 News they will not ban this hugely popular video app TikTok would be a "slippery slope" towards a huge amount of tension between Beijing and our capital Canberra "that no one will accept here", says technology commentator Trevor Long.
India also banned the app for some time in 2019 according to the Economic Times, officials said “examining the alleged flow of data from these apps to China that poses a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India”
With all this being said, this data privacy violation seems to be a global concern. Apparently this is a data-sharing norm in India irrespective of where the app is downloaded and operated.
The video platform Tik Tok is owned by the Chinese tech empire Bytedance, created by CEO Zhang Yiming at the age of 29 in 2012. TikTok, known as Douyin in its national market China, was released in China in September 2016 and then globally as TikTok the following year.
According to ABC News, TikTok has an estimated 65 million to 80 million users in the United States alone. and as of June 2019, there were approximately 120 million monthly users in India. The app has grown exceptionally popular during the Covid-19 Pandemic with 2 billion downloads in April! According to CNBC news, Reuters reported that ByteDance investors have valued the app at a whopping $50 billion.
The American Civil Liberties Union, a New York City-based nonprofit advocacy organization, said to ban an app like TikTok "is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical."
A TikTok spokesperson told ABC News about how the app has helped create so many employment opportunities across the United States;
"These are the facts: 100 million Americans come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, especially during the pandemic. We've hired nearly 1,000 people to our U.S. team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the US. Our $1 billion creator fund supports U.S. creators who are building livelihoods from our platform. TikTok U.S. user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access. TikTok's biggest investors come from the U.S. We are committed to protecting our users' privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform."
A source told CNBC that there have been talks about Microsoft purchasing the TikTok mobile app from ByteDance. According to this source, these talks however are not new.
NBC News reported that Trump told reporters that he was against the spinoff deal of Microsoft potentially buying TikTok.
On a final note, Trump’s move to ban TikTok will come at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over several issues. This is exactly why Australia decided not to ban the app. So I guess Trump needs to think about this decision.