So what is the newest on the TikTok takeover state of affairs?
I am glad you requested – this week, as negotiations proceed over the sale of TikTok to an Oracle/Walmart lead consortium, which it is value noting has not been formally agreed to as but. Whereas these discussions proceed, TikTok continued to fight the US Authorities’s Govt Order, which may nonetheless see the app banned totally within the US if a deal is not reached by November twelfth.
- The White Home issued an EO on August sixth which might see TikTok banned within the US inside 45 days if it didn’t separate itself from its Chinese language roots
- On September nineteenth, a day earlier than the ban would take impact, TikTok introduced vital progress in a takeover deal. The US Division of Commerce then granted TikTok an extension, giving it until September twenty seventh to finalize the small print of the takeover, or it will face elimination from the US app retailer.
- On September twenty seventh, simply hours earlier than TikTok’s app retailer ban was set to take impact, the corporate gained an attraction in opposition to the White Home EO, keep away from a ban.
- The courtroom has now set a November 4th listening to date for a follow-up on the TikTok ban within the US app retailer – whereas TikTok has until November twelfth to finalize particulars of its full sell-off to a US-based firm, or it’s going to face a whole ban within the US.
So, TikTok may nonetheless be faraway from the US app retailer inside weeks, and will nonetheless face a full ban within the US. Which is what the platform is now arguing in opposition to.
TikTok’s counter to the White Home EO is that, basically, it is based mostly on incorrect data and assumptions, and that none of the particular claims listed are true.
In a supplemental declaration, TikTok’s chief safety officer Roland Cloutier says that:
- TikTok’s infrastructure is ‘totally separate from the software program stack comprising the Douyin utility’, so TikTok and it is Chinese language variation aren’t linked.
- TikTok doesn’t lease servers from China Unicom, a possible vulnerability recognized by the US, and US person information is encrypted, so it could not be accessed by way of this technique anyway
- A report which claimed that TikTok’s supply code reveals that it could possibly be sharing information with China is predicated on outdated code references, that are not used within the utility
- Importantly, Cloutier additionally notes that TikTok “wouldn’t adjust to a request for US person information from the Chinese language Authorities. “So far, there has by no means been a request from the Chinese language Authorities for tikTok person information”.
Cloutier’s statements reinforce what many have beforehand famous, that the White Home EO is predicated on assumptions and media reviews, however not on laborious proof. Even when TikTok does share information with the CCP, there is no precise proof of such, and if it does use its platform to strengthen communist propaganda, there is no definitive proof that that is occurring.
There are numerous reviews of issues with TikTok’s moderation tips, rumors of anti-China censorship, issues round how its algorithm operates. However in a authorized sense, there’s nothing binding – there is no proof, no less than nothing obtainable to the general public, which might add weight to the claims made within the White Home EO.
Which is why TikTok hasn’t been faraway from US app shops but, and why it could by no means be eliminated, even when the Trump Administration wins re-election, and seeks to push more durable on getting the app into US palms.
Which may nonetheless occur, however an increasing number of reviews across the proposed Oracle/Walmart deal counsel that TikTok’s Chinese language mother or father firm ByteDance will retain management of the app, which the US Authorities has mentioned won’t be adequate.
But when ByteDance additionally is aware of that it’s going to win any authorized attraction, perhaps it will not be pushing as laborious to promote – perhaps, by interesting the case, and in search of an extended keep of execution, the corporate is hoping to carry on until after the US election, when the state of affairs may look considerably completely different for the app.
And more and more, it is trying just like the TikTok EO was extra of a transfer to punish China, which US President Donald Trump has straight-up acknowledged.
In July, President Trump famous that he needed to take away TikTok within the US as a part of retaliatory measures for the unfold of COVID-19.
“It’s an enormous enterprise. Look, what occurred with China with this virus, what they’ve achieved to this nation and to all the world is disgraceful.”
At the moment, India had introduced its ban of TikTok, and all Chinese language apps, on account of ongoing conflicts with the Chinese language army, whereas simply weeks earlier than this assertion, TikTok customers had reportedly ruined a Trump rally in Oklahoma by massively inflating ticket demand, which left Trump’s group embarrassed on the small turnout.
It is attainable that these parts could have additionally performed into Trump’s push to ban the app, however as we’re now seeing, that drive could effectively lack the proof to truly get via, and TikTok, after every part, could stay totally unchanged.
So what is the finish outcome? We’ll have to attend and see if TikTok does get offered off, however even when it does not, the influence could possibly be zero. Regardless of all of the media protection, the courtroom circumstances, regardless of all of the give attention to the app over the previous few months, TikTok may nonetheless be in US app shops in late December, owned by China’s ByteDance, rising its person base.
It appears stunning, given all of the negotiations and govt modifications and hypothesis. However TikTok, because it has mentioned, might be right here to remain, because it all the time was.