TikTok: US normal supervisor Pappas says app ‘right here for the long term’

Offices of ByteDance in Beijing Image copyright Reuters
Image caption TikTok is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance

The US normal supervisor of TikTok has stated the Chinese-owned video-sharing app is “here for the long run”, after President Donald Trump stated he would ban it within the US.

Vanessa Pappas instructed TikTok customers in a video assertion that its workers had been constructing “the safest app”.

Mr Trump stated he might signal an government order as early as Saturday, amid considerations the app could possibly be used to gather Americans’ private knowledge.

TikTok denies any Chinese management.

The fast-growing app has as much as 80 million lively month-to-month customers within the US and the ban could be a serious blow for the Chinese agency ByteDance which owns it.

It was not instantly clear what authority Mr Trump has to ban TikTok, how that ban could be enforced and what authorized challenges it could face.

But Reuters information company reported on Saturday that ByteDance had agreed to utterly divest TikTok’s US operations. Previously the Chinese firm had sought to maintain a minority stake, with Microsoft reportedly in talks to purchase the app.

The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese authorities over numerous points, together with commerce disputes and Beijing’s dealing with of the coronavirus outbreak.

What did Ms Pappas say?

TikTok’s US normal supervisor stated the corporate had heard an “outpouring of support” for the app, and thanked the “millions of Americans” who used it day-after-day.

“We’re not planning on going anywhere,” she stated.

Addressing considerations about knowledge safety, she stated TikTok was behaving responsibly.

“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app, because we know it’s the right thing to do,” she stated.

“We’re here for the long run, continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok.”

What is TikTok?

The platform has exploded in recognition in recent times, principally with individuals beneath 20.

They use the app to share 15-second movies that always contain lip-synching to songs, comedy routines and weird modifying methods.

These movies are then made obtainable to each followers and strangers. By default, all accounts are public, though customers can limit uploads to an permitted checklist of contacts.

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Media captionWATCH: What is TikTok?

TikTok additionally permits personal messages to be despatched however this facility is proscribed to “friends”.

The app is reported to have round 800 million lively month-to-month customers, most of whom are within the US and India.

India has already blocked TikTok in addition to different Chinese apps. Australia, which has already banned Huawei and telecom equipment-maker ZTE, can be contemplating banning TikTok.

Why Trump dislikes TikTok

Analysis by James Clayton, BBC North America expertise correspondent

Trump’s dislike of TikTok goes additional than simply privateness considerations.

In India TikTok was banned after a border skirmish with China – it was caught up in a geopolitical feud. And that is what’s occurred right here, too. Trump’s sights are set firmly on China – and this ought to be seen via that lens.

TikTok says that it does not maintain any knowledge in China and would by no means give it to China.

But, in some ways it does not matter what they are saying, the truth that they’re owned by a Chinese’s firm is guilt sufficient.

Not to be ignored both is Trump’s earlier expertise with TikTok.

Last month customers claimed to have scuppered his Tulsa rally after signing as much as tickets that they had no intention of utilizing.

And though there are Republican and conservative voices on TikTok, the profile of customers within the US is mostly younger and liberal/left.

It’s onerous to consider that is not an element right here.

Why is the US involved about TikTok?

US officers and politicians have raised considerations knowledge collected by ByteDance by way of TikTok could find yourself being handed to the Chinese authorities.

TikTok operates the same however separate model of the app in China, often called Douyin. It says all US consumer knowledge is saved within the US, with a backup in Singapore.

This week, TikTok instructed customers and regulators it could observe a excessive stage of transparency, together with permitting opinions of its algorithms.

“We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda – our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy,” the CEO of TikTok, Kevin Mayer, stated in a put up this week.

“TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy.”

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Media captionWATCH: Will TikTok be banned?