Tiktok responded to Donald Trump’s executive order issued Thursday night – effectively banning the app if his parent company could not complete the sale to a U.S. entity within 45 days – saying it was “shocked” and Tiktok would launch a legal battle against the president’s move.
Tiktok, owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, called Trump’s order a “dangerous precedent for free speech and the idea of a free market.”
“We are shocked by the recent executive order, which was issued without due process,” Tiktok said in a statement on Friday. “For almost a year now, we have sought to engage with the U.S. government in a constructive manner to provide a constructive solution to the concerns expressed. Instead, the problem we have faced is that the administration has not paid attention to the truth, the terms of a contract have been set without proper legal procedures, and attempts have been made to enter into negotiations with private businesses. “
Encouraged by threats to shut down Beijing-based BitDance in the United States if the United States continues, Tiktok is negotiating a sale to Microsoft. Microsoft has said it is looking to acquire TickTock’s businesses in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but is reportedly considering a deal to acquire all of TickTock’s activities.
Coming in as part of the U.S.’s fierce fight with China, Trump passed the International Emergency Economic Strength Act (IEEPA) in an order against Tic Tac Toe, and he issued a uniform executive order against Tencent-owned WeChat. Separate orders, citing national security concerns, prevent any transaction by either party with WeChat or TickTock, or any property involving US jurisdiction.
“Not to abandon the rule of law and to treat our organization and our users fairly – not on the part of the administration, but the US courts will use all the remedies available to us to ensure that,” Tiktok said.
Last week, the ACLU criticized Trump’s threat as detrimental to Trump’s inaction, and questioned the legitimacy of such a move. On Friday, the advocacy group took charge of Trump’s executive order against Tiktok and Wechat, calling them “abuses of emergency power.”
Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement: “This is an abuse of emergency power in the broadest sense of national security. He further added that “electoral sanctions across entire platforms harm online freedom of speech and do nothing to address the broader problem of unfair judicial government surveillance, including our own government.”
Tiktok pointed out that the Trump administration did not cite any specific evidence that short lip-syncing and dance videos are popular with teenagers and young adults for sharing – “the United States continues to threaten national security, foreign policy and the economy.”
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“The text of [Trump order] It makes clear that there is reliance on untitled anonymous ‘reports’, fears that the app could be used for ‘horrific publicity campaigns’, no evidence of fears, and concerns about data collection that is the industry standard for thousands. The statement said there are mobile applications around the world
Tiktok, led by former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, claims that 100 million Americans use its short-form video app. The agency reiterated that it “never shared user data with the Chinese government, or censored any content upon request.” The agency said it disclosed its accompanying guidelines and algorithm source code, “This is a level of liability that no peer company is committed to.”
Tiktok added that it does not properly manage any servers in China even though its app shares code with ByteDance’s sister video app Dyne for the Chinese market.
Trump’s order against TickTock noted that India banned the app (and dozens of other Chinese mobile apps) in June amid border clashes between the two countries. In the United States, government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, and the military, have already banned the use of tick on state-owned phones. Meanwhile, Joe Biden has banned the use of ticks as a security precaution in his presidential campaign.
Even after Tiktak’s future is clouded, the company is continuing its ink business deal.
Tiktok is partnering with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller to start a talent search for the next music supergroup ID. And on Thursday, Tiktok launched on Amazon’s Fire TV – its first connected-TV app – featuring video compilations, interviews with creators and other content. Set ET is set to perform in a “virtual” livestreamed concert exclusively on Tiktak’s mobile app, premiering at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, The Weekend Aug. August.