22 Sep Breaking: The business and politics of APP’s

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  • TikTok downloads soar as Trump threatens US ban
  • 247,000 new installs for a 12% increase
  • New US TikTok Global will pay more than $5 billion in new tax dollars to the U.S. Treasury
  • Trump administration has claimed that TikTok is a risk to national securitybecause of its Chinese ownership.

 

Video platform TikTok, facing a US ban, saw its downloads increase Friday, adding 247,000 new installs for a 12% increase since September 17, according to Sensor Tower.

 

TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, has been in talks with US companies over the past several weeks attempting to create a new company, TikTok Global, to calm concerns about data security from the Trump administration. The former Celebrity Apprentice host has called for US TikTok operations to be shut down unless sold to a US company.

TikTok users in the U.S. recently received a one-week reprieve from the Trump administration’s download ban on the popular short-form video app.

 

The announcement of the postponement of the ban came after President Trump said he gave his “blessing” to a multiparty deal under which TikTok will become majority-owned by a group of U.S. companies and investors. Oracle and Walmart will together take a 20% stake in the company.

 

Given Trump’s approval of the TikTok pact, the U.S. Commerce Department said it has pushed back the prohibition on app stores providing access to TikTok until next Sunday, Sept. 27.

 

The new TikTok Global will “pay more than $5 billion in new tax dollars to the U.S. Treasury,” according to a joint statement by Oracle and Walmart. It’s unclear if that will be a one-time payment or be part of the new company’s regular course of business.

 

For months, the Trump administration has claimed that TikTok is a risk to national security because of its Chinese ownership. The administration has alleged its parent company ByteDance could be required to hand over TikTok’s user data to the Chinese government, compromising the safety and privacy of US users. TikTok has repeatedly said that it stores data outside of China and that it would refuse any request by Beijing for data about US users.

 

In a statement Friday, TikTok said that it disagreed with and was disappointed by the Trump administration’s announcement. “Our community of 100 million US users love TikTok because it’s a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection,” the company said, “and we’re committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

 

The deal, involving Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is still to be approved by the Chinese government. Oracle said that all TikTok technology will be in possession of TikTok Global, which will “comply with U.S. laws and privacy regulations.” TikTok Global will launch an initial public offering within 12 months and will be listed on a U.S. stock exchange.

 

Words by Rob Greeff


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