TikTok to fight possible ban with opinion

Henry

Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, on Wednesday undertook to fight in the courts to overturn a new American law that could ban the app in the US.

The legislation gives TikTok nine months to divest from its Chinese parent company ByteDance or be shut out of the US market.

US and other Western officials claim that the social media platform allows Beijing to collect data and spy on users. It has 170 million users in the US and many of them are young.

Critics say TikTok is also a channel to spread propaganda. However, China and the company strongly deny the allegations.

“Make no mistake, this is a ban. A ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice,” Chew said in a video posted on the app shortly after the bill was signed by US President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

The legislation gives ByteDance nine months to sell the app, with a possible extension of three months if a transaction is already underway.

If he does not, the app will be excluded from Apple and Google’s stores in the US.

“Rest assured, we’re not going anywhere,” Chew said in the video. “The facts and the constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail again.”

Chew described the move as “ironic”, as the freedom of expression on TikTok reflects the same American values ​​that make the United States a beacon of freedom.

The bill could mean a company could be banned from doing business in the American market.

Before the vote on the bill, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that ByteDance is subservient to the Chinese, that it is trying to steal US artificial intelligence and is trying to break into US technology on a daily basis.

Dan Ives, Wedbush analyst, believes possible buyers for TikTok could include Microsoft or Oracle.

TikTok has been in the crosshairs of US authorities for years, who believe the platform allows Beijing to snoop through users’ operations in the US.

The legislation also gives the US president the authority to decide on other apps as a threat to national security if they are controlled by a country that is considered hostile.

Elon Musk, billionaire owner of X, took a stand against the possible ban on TikTok last week, saying the move would “contrary to freedom of speech and expression”.