Kolkata, India: Short-video sharing app TikTok responds to the recent US Executive Order that barred the company from doing business with any American firms, as US-China tensions rise.
President Donald Trump on 7th August issued the Executive Order, imposing a broad sanction on the China-based social media platform further pushing it to sell its American assets to a native US firm.
Trump invoked his executive economic powers that prohibit any US company from doing business with TikTok’s parent ByteDance.
The move by the US President came as a part of his administration’s aggressive stance against China, lodging one after the other ‘measures’ targeted at the world’s second-largest economy.
TikTok responded to the trade order and in a recent statement on the order slammed the US government for interfering in negotiation between private companies and baselessly alleging TikTok as Beijing’s tool.
“The (US) Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses,” TikTok claimed in a statement.
The Executive Order takes effect in 45 days, whereafter any transactions with ByteDance will be deemed illegal in the US by any American companies. Trump has earlier announced TikTok must be sold to any US firm latest by September 15th.
“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” a White House statement on the order reads.
“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” Trump says in the White House statement.
These allegations are what TikTok and its employees have time and again denied. TikTok till date remains firm with the claim that they do not share any information with the Chinese government.
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TikTok says that the US order relied on unnamed ‘reports’ which were not cited and that the fears surrounding the app is used for misinformation campaigns has no ‘substantiation.’
“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to,” the TikTok statement read.
“We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.”
The short-video sharing app has been downloaded over 1 billion times around the world and over 100 million times in the US. TikTok’s largest market in the world, India, recently banned the app (among scores of others) over border tension with China, citing the same security concerns as the US.
“We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts,” the TikTok statement reads.
It must be noted, TikTok did not announce a similar move for the Indian ban on the app. “There have been statements in the press concerning the possibility that TikTok might pursue legal action regarding the directive by the Government of India. We have no plans to pursue such action,” a spokesperson from the company told in July about India’s app ban.