TikTok has quickly become one of the world’s most popular apps. With over 800 million users across the globe, TikTok’s popularity has become particularly prominent in recent months as we all faced some form of lockdown.
Not only has the app become known for humorous videos and viral dances, but it has also become one of the largest apps for marketers and influencers, with research finding it has the highest rate of engagement of any social media platform.
But TikTok has not come without controversy, in particular within the United States. Since the beginning of July, the Trump administration has said that the app (owned by Chinese company ByteDance) could compromise US national security by giving the Chinese government access to US citizen’s data.
This is something that Bytedance has vehemently denied throughout, but the Trump administration has been steadfast in their fight against TikTok, threatening a ban unless it is sold to an American-owned company. In August, Trump signed an Executive Order, effectively mandating that ByteDance sells TikTok’s US operations.
We are now three months since the controversy began, and things are still very unclear on the future of TikTok. There have been many twists and turns in the tale, with a number of different company names on the table, in the running to become the new owner of TikTok.
Most recently, a deal to sell a 20% stake in the company to US businesses Oracle and Walmart was put under threat due to the fact that Donald Trump would only support a deal if the American companies had the majority share, despite having previously given his blessing to the deal.
This has led to TikTok filing a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration which aims to protect the app from being banned within the US. A ban would ultimately mean that new downloads would be halted, and any software updates would cease for existing users.
So what could this mean for TikTok in the US? Well as of now we can’t say, but ultimately, we don’t expect this to be the last we hear of the TikTok vs Trump saga.