TikTok parent ByteDance has been given to divest itself of the popular short video sharing app’s US operation by September 15. On failing to do so, the popular app will be banned in America. But the company is reportedly in talks to avoid the full sale of its operation. The US is concerned that the personal information of TikTok users could be obtained by the Chinese government because of the app’s perceived closeness with the Communist government. The Donald Trump administration has claimed that the app could be used to track the locations of federal employees. But TikTok categorically refuted these claims saying that the security of TikTok users is not at risk. The company even said that the servers used for TikTok subscribers in the US are in the US and Singapore.
TikTok has as many as a billion subscribers worldwide and over 100 million users in the United States who use it to create 15 to 60 seconds videos on their cellphones. The short videos feature lip-syncing, dancing, pranks, DIY clips, and many more such things. The talks to sell its US operation is going on for months but it is now more urgent as the deadline set by the Trump administration is not too far. Among those who have shown interest in buying TikTok are Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart. Of late, ByteDance said that it’s close to sealing the deal. But soon after the report, its chief executive officer Kevin Mayer resigned. The move was seen as an effort to inject some Americana in the video-sharing app.
Reports claim that at least one of TikTok’s major investors was among the group that met representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency. The meeting was held reportedly to discuss data security. Critics have slammed US President Donald Trump’s call for the government to get a cut of the ByteDance deal saying that it appears unconstitutional. Meanwhile, China’s commerce ministry has changed that rule that restricts the export of certain things. This could make it more difficult for ByteDance to sell TikTok.