Almost every teen nowadays has either downloaded TikTok, or at least heard of the popular social networking app. Since its release four years ago in September of 2016, TikTok has grown significantly, with eight hundred million active global users, its one of the most attractive platforms. However, recently, the Trump administration has expressed concerns over user safety, claiming that the Chinese owned app posed a national security threat. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states that TikTok, among other Chinese owned apps, are “feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.” Although there is no proof of stolen information and ByteDance (the owner of TikTok) denies these allegations, Trump has declared this situation a “national emergency.” Despite the claims of a security risk, many believe that proposals to ban the platform are purely due to xenophobia, a result of the increasing racism toward Chinese people and sinking political relations between the United States and China. ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, states that “even a temporary ban could do irreparable harm.” Limitations of the app would lead to an extreme loss in revenue and cause damage to the company’s reputation, making it extremely difficult to recover from.
A US judge is expected to rule this Sunday, September 27th, whether to allow the ban of TikTok downloads from the app store. In addition, US district court judge Carl Nichols has promised to consider TikTok’s request to temporarily block the ban before it is put into effect Sunday night at 11:59 pm. However, the proposed date of the full ban is November 12th, giving ByteDance enough time to make a deal of transferring ownership to a US corporation. After ByteDance rejected Microsoft’s proposal to buy TikTok’s US operations, the deadline now looms closer and pressure increases to make a deal. As of last week, a tentative negotiation was created with Oracle, a giant Silicon Valley tech company, in which they would form a partnership with TikTok and become a stakeholder in a new entity known as TikTok Global. However, the status of the deal still remains unclear as it faces hurdles of approval from both Beijing and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in America.