The United States Commerce Department has issued an order on Friday that will restrict United States citizens from using the Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and Video downloading app TikTok. The order will take effect from 20th September 2020.
News from the ground
The officials of the United States Commerce Department have also hinted that the restriction could be taken back. The order can now only be taken back by the President. Byte Dance, the parent company of TikTok, is currently in talks with Oracle to create a new company.
According to the sources, the new TikTok Company will be named TikTok Global. This new company aims to address the United States President’s concerns regarding the security of user data.
The Commerce Department’s order will remove TikTok and WeChat from Google Play and Apple’s app store. However, the order will not have any effect on the apps outside the United States. Additionally, the order will also not affect other transactions and applications linked with the WeChat’s parent company Tencent.
ByteDance is currently planning on the initial public offering of TikTok Global.
This is only possible after the United States President agrees to the agreement. The Trump administration and ByteDance have agreed to some terms.
According to the deal, Oracle will hold 60 percent of TikTok Global shares with its potential partner Walmart. However, Mark Meadows, the White House staff, has mentioned that situation is yet unclear. He noted that there is no certainty that the President will agree to the deal.
TikTok Global will have many United States personals on its governing board. It is worth mentioning that an initial public offering from ByteDance will be one of the biggest technology sectors. Furthermore, the deal will also create 25,000 new jobs in the United States and even the establishment of ByteDance headquarters in the United States.
More shakeup’s at Tiktok
Tiktok will now have a directory of security.
The security director will be responsible for overseeing the safety of user data. The United States government will approve the person to serve in this position. And will also chair the committee of security.
On the other side, Tencent has moved all its operations to a new app WeCom. Tencent officials have said that WeCom does not fall under the ban order by Donald Trump. This new app will allow WeChat users to transfer their contacts and operations to WeCom. WeCom users will be able to chat, create groups, and even share money with WeChat users.
The trade war has been between China and America has had a significant effect on technology. Many apps are suffering because of the conflict between the two nations. The new warfare has not only affected governments and technology companies but is also proving inadequate for users. Therefore, even if TikTok and WeChat succeed in saving themselves from shifting their operations, it will not be the same for the users.
Microsoft’s Offer To Buy TikTok Gets Rejected
Tiktok recently rejected an offer from Microsoft. The tech giant sent a proposal to the video-sharing app. But said that the proposal had been denied. The rejection of Microsoft has paved the way for Oracle, who is now the only contender.
The TikTok crisis started amid the United States and China trade war. The United States President had alleged the popular video-sharing app for sharing user data with the Chinese government. As the crisis grew, Donald Trump ordered TikTok to close its American operation or sell it to other companies.
Tiktok has over 2 billion downloads. Plus, having more than 1 million users in the United States makes it one of the country’s most popular mobile apps.
Following the executive order from the United States President to sell the American operation, Microsoft and Oracle sent their proposal to ByteDance. The news was confirmed on Monday after the announcement from Microsoft. Microsoft released a statement saying that ByteDance has rejected their proposal.
Oracle is all set to take over Tiktok, according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. Even the American President was confident about Oracle and recently termed it a ‘great company’ for TikTok.
It is worth mentioning that the owner of Oracle, Larry Ellison, is a huge supporter of Donald Trump. Ellison also organized a fundraiser for Trump’s election campaign. Another essential matter is that of the deadline. The Presidential executive order mentions the deadline as September 20, 2020. Contrary to this, the President has repeatedly said that the deadline is the 15th.
TikTok’s United States operation’s forced sale is a part of a long-term strategy to counter Chinese influence in technology. The United States president believes that the Chinese government can use the app’s American user data. Apart from TikTok, President has also placed various sanctions upon WeChat and Huawei. According to the President, the equipment maker Huawei has close links with the Chinese government and a threat to America.
Huawei will now need a license from the US Commerce Department for shipping American products.
Following the move from the American side, the Chinese government has also imposed restrictions on tech export. According to these new restrictions, the export of AI and other related technology will need a government license.
The popularity of TikTok comes from its algorithms. The highly-advanced algorithms used by the app can easily predict what the user wants to see. Moreover, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has made it clear that it will not be selling this algorithm.
Experts are yet not clear about the effects on the app after its selling. However, they are sure that neither Microsoft nor Oracle is an appropriate suitor.
What Is Youtubes New Rival To Tiktok?
The video giant YouTube is all set to launch its new app in India. Touted as a rival to TikTok ‘Shorts’ is a video sharing app. YouTube Shorts will limit the video size to 15 seconds and provide additional video effects and tools.
India recently banned 50+ Chinese apps, including TikTok. The video-sharing app was viral in India, with more than 120 million users. India banned these apps after a border tension with China in the northern disputed territory of Ladakh. Ladakh is in the disputed region of Kashmir. With claims of owning the land coming from both countries.
After the ban, many local competitors have also jumped into the market. Shorts will now have to compete with the local apps, and if everything goes as planned will be released worldwide. The Vice President of YouTube product management, Chris Jaffe, has said that Shorts is for those artists and creators who want to make good videos with just their mobile phones.
Shorts comes with many additional features that were not provided by TikTok. This platform will offer a multi-segment camera that will enable the users to collage different videos. Users get access to online song libraries with the option to record music. Furthermore, the app will have a timer and countdown to allow hand-free recording.
YouTube officials confirmed the launch of the app in other markets after a successful test in India. They mentioned the addition of many new features, following user demand.
This product release by YouTube comes as Oracle confirms its deal with ByteDance to take over TikTok’s United States operation.
The United States President gave 20 September to TikTok parent company to either close its US operation or sell it. United States President believes that the app can be a threat to America as it can provide the Chinese government with user data. This move comes amid the trade war between the two countries.
The Indian government established similar concerns by banning 50+ Chinese apps.
India is the most populated country, is the perfect spot for YouTube to test Shorts. 30 percent of the 2 billion TikTok users were from India and needed a new video-sharing app. Shorts may supply tough competition for Instagram. Furthermore, after TikTok, many users have now turned to Instagram but are likely to shift to this new app. So with its advanced features, many believe that Shorts will soon take over TikTok around the globe.
Tiktok Banned In Several Countries But Not In The U.S
Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and many more recently blocked TikTok. Surely, there are solid reasons behind these restrictions. But, a lot of people don’t know what Tiktok is. If you are one of those people, read up on some of the histories before reading about the controversies.
History of TikTok
Besides Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, TikTok is another big player in social networking. China originated the app to enable users to create and share short videos between 3-60 seconds.
TikTok is the project of ByteDance; A Beijing-based enterprise. The journey of developing TikTok started in the year 2016.
It all began with the formation of Duyin, a Chinese version of TikTok launched in September 2016. After the successful journey of Duyin across China, the company decided to create a similar app for the rest of the world as well.
This is where TikTok came into being. TikTok and Duyin are two apps with the same functionalities but different names. They both differ in that Duyin operates only in China, whereas TikTok is for other countries except China.
What is Tiktok
TikTok is a mobile app that allows users to create short videos. Honestly, it makes video creation a lot easier compared to YouTube. The app offers many tools to create a video.
To make a video on Tiktok, you shoot a video, then put the music of your choice behind it, edit, and post it. That’s it. The simplicity, no doubt, has been a cause for their success.
In a short span, TikTok has evolved into a major platform. It reports monthly users around 850 million. About its revenue, only in the US, the app generated $2.7 million from the apple store in September 2020.
Why was TikTok Banned
The first and foremost reason for Tiktok being banned is the indecency of the content uploaded. Indeed, there has even been a concern in the U.S. Here arises a question. Why, besides all these good things, are countries moving away from the platform?
Presently, most countries blocked this service in their boundaries. They believe that there is no policy exercised by its founding fathers to screen the content before its uploaded on TikTok.
That’s why there are thousands of improper videos available that are truly character decaying. So, beware and keep an eye on your children if they are a TikTok fan.
Additionally, the next concern is hackers. Hackers are very active on TikTok. They send people malicious links and steal their personal data. This way, they break into the people’s accounts and exploit their content, mostly in the wrong way.
All in all, these are only highlights of the bad side of TikTok. Be cautious while using this platform, and let’s know your experience with it in the comments below. We are especially curious since the platform is gaining more and more users every day since it’s been reported. At this time, we are unable to verify those reports. That is because TikTok remains a privately owned company.