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Saturday, April 13, 2024

TikTok to push back against US accusations

TikTok has ramped up its defence against US accusations. TikTok had been blamed for feeding US consumer data to Chinese authorities.

TikTok has stepped up its defence against US accusations that the popular video app is a national security threat, denouncing what it called “rumours and misinformation” about its links to the Chinese government.

The video-snippet sharing service launched an online information hub on Monday after President Donald Trump gave its Chinese parent firm a 90-day deadline to divest TikTok before the app is banned in the United States.

Executive order prohibits US entities from doing business with TikTok

A previous executive order, prohibiting US entities from doing business with TikTok, will take effect 45 days after August 6.

Read more: TikTok users face Trump head-on in wake of probable ban

On a web page titled “The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet,” TikTok maintained it was setting the record straight about the platform.

“TikTok has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would it do so if asked,” the company said in the post.

“Any insinuation to the contrary is unfounded and blatantly false.”

US user data is stored here, with a backup in Singapore, according to TikTok.
The company, owned by China-based ByteDance, also launched a new @tiktok_comms Twitter account to address issues in real-time.

As tensions soar between the world’s two biggest economies, Trump has claimed TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees, build dossiers on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.

The US leader early this month also ordered a ban on the messaging app WeChat, which is used extensively in China.

On Friday, Trump signed a separate executive order for ByteDance to sell its interest in Musical.ly, the app it bought and merged with TikTok in 2017, citing national security.
TikTok said the US action “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth.”

TikTok defends against US accusations

TikTok also repeated its intention to “pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded.”

For most of the past half-century, one of Washington’s primary foreign-policy goals was to create more Zhangs. The United States believed that it could transform Communist China into society more like its own—wealthy, free, inventive, and open, a place where a nobody like Zhang, with little more than smarts and the tools of capitalism, could build the businesses and think of the ideas that would change the world.To a degree, Zhang is proof that the U.S. succeeded. TikTok maybe Chinese, but it has been embraced by Americans as their own. While Facebook is for sharing baby pictures, Twitter is for political ranting, and Instagram is for showing off how popular you are, TikTok has a certain silly simplicity—a forum where you can dance in your living room, lip-synch bad jokes, capture animal antics, and share other slivers of your personal life.
The United States has long prided itself on being open to anyone and anything, from anywhere, which improves our lives and livelihoods. In the American telling, the entrepreneurial, their grit and genius, have always been welcome, even cherished, no matter where they were born.
Software giant Oracle is weighing a bid to join Microsoft in the race to acquire part of TikTok, Bloomberg reported early Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
It has preliminarily approached companies including Sequoia Capital to join a bid for the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the report said.

China meanwhile Monday slammed Washington for using “digital gunboat diplomacy” in the TikTok case. Claiming that US accusations on TikTok were blatant lies.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday said TikTok had done everything required by the US, including hiring Americans as its top executives, hosting its servers in the US and making public its source code.

But the app has been “unable to escape the robbery through trickery undertaken by some people in the US based on bandit logic and political self-interest,” Zhao said at a regular press conference.

Read more: Why banning TikTok takes away hope for rural communities

TikTok separately Monday announced an alliance with music distribution platform UnitedMasters, playing to budding artists and their fans despite US steps to bar the popular app.

The deal to integrate UnitedMasters into TikTok promised to build on a trend of the platform being a way for musicians to be discovered by posting short-clip videos.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk