TikTok’s challenge to Trump will not be easy
Many analysts think TikTok is unlikely to win its challenge to Donald Trump’s order banning the popular video-sharing app if it does not sell to a US company. The US president signed an executive order on August 6 banning TikTok within 45 days unless it is sold to US owners, citing national security concerns. Trump made the order under a 1977 law that lets the president block transactions and seize assets in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat.” Trump issued another order a week later giving ByteDance, its Chinese owner, 90 days to divest its US operations, including all data gathered in the United States. The lawsuit, to be filed by TikTok on Monday, challenges the August 6 ex
The potential TikTok sale is a herculean task
ByteDance has been forced into a corner by the Trump administration, which now says it must sell the US version of its global short video hit TikTok within 90 days if the app wants to stay in business. Analysts say pulling off a sale is easier said than done due to a complex array of legal and technical obstacles. Plus, TikTok, and Bytedance, have too much at stake in the US market to simply leave.  “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump said in the order announced on Friday. Trump originally signed an executive order on August 6 that would prohibit certain transactio
Why can the US force TikTok to sell?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. When the US government made overtures about banning the popular app TikTok in the summer of 2020, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin cited the unanimous support from an obscure interagency committee. Named the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the high-level panel’s job is to review business and real estate deals involving foreign investment for potential national security threats. As the Chinese-owned app TikTok exploded in popularity in the US, during a time when US-China relations spiraled to new lows, the US government was
Trump targets TikTok and WeChat in latest salvo against China
US President Donald Trump has ordered fresh restrictions on Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat as tech companies become a focal point of the increasingly bitter stand-off between Beijing and Washington. The Trump administration announced executive orders on Thursday evening banning “to the extent permitted under applicable law, any transaction” with TikTok owner ByteDance, or concerning WeChat via its parent company Tencent, taking effect in 45 days. The executive orders said that the spread of Chinese-owned mobile apps threatened “the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” and that data collection by WeChat and TikTok threatened to “allow the Chinese Communis
US puts Chinese apps on notice as Trump gives TikTok 45 days to sell
President Donald Trump will take action against TikTok, WeChat and “countless” Chinese software companies that pose a national security threat to America, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday, apparently widening the scope of attention the US government is paying to online tech platforms developed in China. “These Chinese software companies doing business with the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat, there are countless more,” Pompeo said in a Fox News interview on Sunday, accusing Chinese technology firms of “feeding data” to the ruling Communist Party’s security apparatus. Pompeo’s warning to Chinese software companies came as Trump agreed to a 45-day timeline for the Chi
China Trends: WeChat blocks Indian users and a student quits a top college to change major
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. WeChat complies to India’s ban WeChat, China’s messaging super-app owned by Tencent, officially restricted users in India from using the app on Saturday, as a result of India’s ban on WeChat and 58 other Chinese apps in June.  The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps in late June, including TikTok, WeChat and Baidu maps, saying they threatened India’s “sovereignty and integrity” two weeks after a fatal clash between Chinese and Indian troops at a Himalayan border.  The news prompted concerns on Chinese social media
How a Chinese short-video app took the world by storm
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. TikTok is one of the world’s most popular apps, allowing some 800 million users worldwide to make and watch addictive short videos. It is the international version of the Chinese app Douyin, which was launched by Beijing-based tech conglomerate ByteDance in 2016. But with its explosive popularity has come accusations of content censorship – something that Douyin routinely does in the Chinese market – and concerns of data security. As US-China tensions have worsened, some American lawmakers have expressed skepticism over the relationship between TikTok and
India bans TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps as border row escalates
The Indian government has banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps as its border row with China spilled over into arenas including tech, privacy and national security. The unprecedented ban, which came weeks after 20 soldiers died in a border clash in the Himalayas, is likely to affect one in three mobile users in India. India is the biggest market for TikTok, the wildly popular video-sharing app that has been downloaded more than 660 million times since its launch, according to an estimate by app intelligence agency Sensor Tower. TikTok has between 120 and 200 million active users in the country. The move marked another attempt by India to reduce dependence on its neighbor’s products and put
More people downloaded this Chinese app than Facebook
TikTok, the Chinese-owned short video platform popular among American teens, and Douyin, the domestic version of the service, became the world’s second-most downloaded app last year, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. TikTok and Douyin amassed a combined 740 million downloads last year, overtaking Facebook and Messenger, trailing only WhatsApp (which, like the Messenger app, is also owned by Facebook). As one of the rare Chinese-owned services that took off overseas, TikTok’s rise in the US has been met with pressure from lawmakers over national security concerns and alleged censorship.  The scrutiny has come at a time of mounting skepticism in Washington over China’s rising global in
TikTok boss hopes DC visit can ease censorship and privacy concerns
The Chinese-owned social media app TikTok is wildly popular in the US, especially among teenagers who spend hours posting videos about the latest dance trends, their love-life complaints and personal unique talents.  As it grows into one of the world’s most used social media platforms, TikTok has found itself under increased scrutiny in the US, its third-largest market.  In an attempt to assuage concerns over censorship and user privacy, the head of the short video platform, Alex Zhu, is embarking on a goodwill tour to Capitol Hill.  The meetings with American lawmakers, scheduled for this week, come as the video app’s Beijing-based owner ByteDance is under increasing scrutiny to address cen