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Thread: TikTok facing government scrutiny in India and Australia

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    TikTok facing government scrutiny in India and Australia

    Here is India's response

    Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by the Reuters news agency.

    In a letter to the Indian government dated June 28 and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok Chief Executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked.

    TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China's ByteDance but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience.

    Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's UC Browser, it was banned in India this week following a border clash with China.

    "I can confirm that the Chinese government has never made a request to us for the TikTok data of Indian users," Mayer wrote, adding that data for Indian users is stored in servers in Singapore.

    "If we do ever receive such a request in the future, we would not comply."

    The letter was sent in advance of a likely meeting next week between the company and the Indian government, one source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
    Ban unlikely to be lifted

    One government source told Reuters this week the ban was unlikely to be revoked soon.

    Lawyers have said a legal challenge was unlikely to be successful, given India has cited national security concerns for the ban.

    The ban, which upset India's growing legion of TikTok stars, has also given a lift to local rivals such as Roposo, which added 22 million new users in the 48 hours after the ban took effect.

    TikTok has committed to spend $1bn in the region.

    Since its launch in 2017, it has become one of the fastest-growing social media apps. India was its largest market by user base, followed by the United States.

    In the letter, Mayer played up the company's investment in the region, highlighting more than 3,500 direct and indirect employees and content available in 14 languages.

    "The privacy of our users, and the security and sovereignty of India, are of utmost importance to us," Mayer wrote. "We have already announced our plans to build a data centre in India."

    Australia will not ban wildly popular TikTok app despite concerns it has been infiltrated by China's Communist government, according to a leading tech expert.
    Technology commentator Trevor Long said any ban on TikTok would be a "slippery slope" towards a major amount of tension between Beijing and Canberra "that no one will accept here".
    TikTok, the video platform owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance, has been downloaded by more than 1.6 million Australians and more than a billion worldwide.

    TikTok, the Chinese-owned online video app, is seen by some critics as a an unnerving black box that could be sharing information with the Chinese government and facilitating espionage. (AP)
    India last week banned TikTok, saying the Chinese company posed a "threat to sovereignty and integrity".
    Mr Long said TikTok had access to Australian users' names, birth dates and location data.
    "Facial recognition comes into play," he said.
    "We have to ask questions who has access to that information."

    There are reports TikTok may be called before the Foreign Interference through Social Media senate inquiry.
    Mr Long said Google and Facebook and other US tech giants collected the same kind of data from billions of users worldwide.
    "The biggest difference is China," he said.
    "It is not the specific data or the company but whether the government has access to it in China."
    But there was no way the Australian Government was not going to ban the app, Mr Long said.
    "That would be the slippery slope towards a major amount of tension that one will accept here."
    However, it could be wise to stop government employees and defence personnel using TikTok, Mr Long said.
    "[TikTok] should be brought before the commission."
    What is TikTok?
    TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, especially among teenagers and young adults across the world.
    The video-sharing platform was launched in Beijing as Douyin in 2012, but was renamed for its worldwide release several years ago.
    The app has more than a billion users worldwide.
    While TikTok is not directly owned by the Chinese government, it does enforce strict controls on what can be shown on the app.
    Content about human rights in China, the Hong Kong protests and Chinese concentration camps for religious minorities are blocked on the app.
    TikTok also blocks LGBT-related content in many countries, including videos showing same-sex couples holding hands.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Its funny though given that facebook, twitter, snapchat and instagram does the same thing though such as collecting data.

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    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that officials are considering a ban of popular short-video app TikTok and other Chinese social media apps due to national security concerns.

    “I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,” the nation’s top diplomat said Monday on Fox News. He added that a person should only download TikTok “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

    Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. have expressed concern over the national security risk posed by the rising popularity of Chinese-owned social media platforms. In a letter sent in October to then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged officials to review the threat posed by TikTok, noting it had been downloaded more than 110 million times in the U.S. alone.

    "China's vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party," Cotton and Schumer wrote in the letter.

    In a statement obtained by Reuters, TikTok officials denied ever having provided user data to the Chinese government.

    "We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users," the statement said. "We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."

    Pompeo’s comments came one day after India banned TikTok, operated by Beijing-based internet firm Bytedance, and 58 other Chinese-owned apps amid a border dispute between the two countries. The ban was largely symbolic since the apps can’t be automatically erased from devices where they’ve already been downloaded.

    TikTok officials have previously said that the company operates separately from ByteDance and that its data centers are located outside of China, meaning their data is not subject to Chinese law, according to CNN. Company officials told the news network that TikTok keeps data for U.S. users in the United States and that national security concerns centered around the company are “unfounded.”

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    NEW YORK (Reuters) - TikTok will exit the Hong Kong market within days, a spokesman told Reuters late on Monday, as other technology companies including Facebook Inc suspend processing government requests for user data in the region.

    The short form video app owned by China-based ByteDance has made the decision to exit the region following China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

    “In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” a TikTok spokesman said in response to a Reuters question about its commitment to the market.

    The company, now run by former Walt Disney Co executive Kevin Mayer, has said in the past that the app’s user data is not stored in China.

    TikTok has also said previously that it would not comply with any requests made by the Chinese government to censor content or for access to TikTok’s user data, nor has it ever been asked to do so.

    The Hong Kong region is a small, loss-making market for the company, one source familiar with the matter said. Last August, TikTok reported it had attracted 150,000 users in Hong Kong.

    Globally, TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 billion times through the Apple and Google app stores after the first quarter this year, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

    The source said the move was made because it was not clear if Hong Kong would now fall entirely under Beijing’s jurisdiction in light of the new law.

    TikTok was designed so it could not be accessed by mainland China. That was part of a strategy to appeal to a more global audience. Its equivalent on the mainland is called Douyin.

    There are no plans currently to introduce Douyin to the Hong Kong market, a ByteDance spokesman said.

    Although Douyin is not available on overseas app stores, it has gathered more users than TikTok in Hong Kong, according to a second source familiar with the situation. Mainland Chinese users can download the app while in the mainland or by switching accounts.

    “Douyin has lots of users in Hong Kong and will continue to serve the users there,” ByteDance China CEO Zhang Nan said in a statement.

    Fang Kecheng, an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said TikTok’s move highlighted the dilemma faced by Chinese companies trying to internationalise, adding that it was “inevitable”.

    “You have to follow local policies and try not to offend the Chinese government and the public. ByteDance’s separation of TikTok (from Douyin) was the same strategy.”

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    The TikTok-tivists are at it again.

    Thousands of users of the popular video app flocked to the Apple App Store in the last few days to flood U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign app with negative reviews. On Wednesday alone 700 negative reviews were left on the Official Trump 2020 app and 26 positive ones, according to tracking firm Sensor Tower.

    TikTok fans are retaliating for Trump’s threats of banning the app, which is owned by China’s Bytedance Ltd. and is hugely popular in the U.S., especially among teens. The thought of taking away a key social and entertainment hub in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to outrage.

    “For Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is our clubhouse and Trump threatened it,” said Yori Blacc, a 19-year-old TikTok user in California who joined in the app protest. “If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you.”

    Blacc said the movement gained steam Wednesday when a popular TikTok user, DeJuan Booker, called on his 750,000 followers to seek revenge. He posted a step-by-step primer on how to degrade the app’s rating, notching 5.6 million views. “Gen Z don’t go down without a fight,” said Booker, who goes by @unusualbeing on TikTok. “Let’s go to war.”

    The efforts to push the app low enough so that Apple will remove it from the app store may be misguided. Apple doesn’t delete apps based on their popularity. The App Store may review those that violate its guidelines or are outdated, but not if their ratings sink. A similar tactic was tried in April to protest Google Classroom by kids frustrated with quarantine home-schooling.

    But young people are looking for ways to make their voices heard, even if some of them can’t yet vote. Last month, many young people organized through TikTok to sign up to attend Trump’s first post-shutdown campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but then didn’t show up. The Trump campaign denied the online organizing effort contributed to lower-than-expected attendance.

    The Trump campaign and Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok was experiencing connectivity issues on Thursday, according to Downdector, which measures web traffic.

    Trump’s re-election smartphone app is a big part of the president’s unrivaled digital operation and was meant to circumvent tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and give the campaign a direct line to supporters. The app has helped the campaign engage Trump’s die-hard supporters, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, by feeding them his latest tweets and promoting virtual events. Supporters can donate to the president’s campaign or earn rewards for recruiting friends like VIP seats to rallies or photos with the president.

    The Official Trump 2020 app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times on Google’s Android store as of June 15. Apple doesn’t publish information on downloads.

    Reviews with titles such as “Terrible App” or “Do Not Download!” have been flooding the App Store since late June. Official Trump 2020 now has more than 103,000 one-star reviews for an overall rating of 1.2.

    But the uptick of activity has also caused the app to rise in rankings. Users have to download the app to review it, vaulting it to second place on the Apple store from No. 486 on Tuesday, according to Sensor Tower.

    “Do I think that this is going to fundamentally change the election? No,” said Tim Lim, a veteran Democratic digital strategist. “But it goes to show that they are just as susceptible to these mass actions as anyone else. Trump is starting to see what it feels like to have a massive online army committed to defeating him.”

    Trump earlier this week said his administration is considering banning TikTok as one way to retaliate against China over its handling of the coronavirus. Trump’s comments came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Americans not to download the app unless they want to see their private information fall into “the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” Bytedance is also facing a U.S. national security review for its acquisition of startup It has denied allegations that it poses a threat to U.S. national security.

    Trump didn’t offer specifics about a potential decision and Pompeo seemed to walk back the idea of a ban in a later statement, saying that the U.S. efforts to protect American consumers’ data don’t relate to any one particular company.

    Many TikTok users say they care less about potential Chinese snooping and more about Trump taking away their digital hangout. In the U.S., TikTok has been downloaded more than 165 million times, according to Sensor Tower.

    “I don’t believe Trump is trying to take TikTok away because of national security, but more to retaliate against activism on the app and all the videos about him that drag him through the mud,” said Darius Jackson, an 18-year-old TikTok user in Champaign, Illinois, who asked his followers Wednesday to give Trump’s app a one-star rating.

    “This is the first year I’ll be able to vote and I think activism on TikTok is going to make a big difference,” Jackson said.

    —With assistance from Mark Gurman.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLanders View Post
    Its funny though given that facebook, twitter, snapchat and instagram does the same thing though such as collecting data.
    Yeah, but they're collecting data for us. See how that works?
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Yeah, but they're collecting data for us. See how that works?
    Its the Kettle is black argument though

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    Tik Tok is not going away

    Wells Fargo is directing employees to delete TikTok from their work phones amid growing concerns over security and privacy from the short-form Chinese-owned video app.

    "We have identified a small number of Wells Fargo employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application on their device," Wells Fargo said in a statement to NBC News on Saturday. "Due to concerns about TikTok’s privacy and security controls and practices, and because corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only, we have directed those employees to remove the app from their devices."

    The move from the nation's fourth-largest bank came as Amazon clarified Friday it was not telling its employees to do the same, despite an email reportedly sent to some employees that instructed them to do so.

    "This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok,” a spokesperson for the e-commerce giant said in a statement late Friday.

    The company had requested that its workers remove the app from their mobile devices due to "security risks," according to a memo to employees seen by Reuters.

    NBC News has not seen the memo.

    The controversy capped a week in which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was considering banning TikTok and other Chinese apps.

    TikTok is owned by the Beijing tech giant ByteDance and has been eager to show lawmakers in the U.S. and elsewhere that people can trust it with their personal data.

    A spokesperson for TikTok told NBC News on Friday that "user security is of the utmost importance" to the company.

    "We are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users," the spokesperson said.

    "While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community. We're proud that tens of millions of Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection, including many of the Amazon employees and contractors who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic."

    TikTok has become one of the most popular apps in the world, a platform where people, mostly under 30, share creative 15-second videos set to music.

    But lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe have raised concerns that the app might be sending people's data back to Beijing.

    There have also been concerns that TikTok is censoring content that might be critical of China's well-documented human rights abuses, using the social media platform as an outlet to shape its image in the eyes of young people around the world.

    TikTok has repeatedly denied this, saying it is not influenced by China or any foreign government and that it has not shared data nor has been asked to do so.

    It said Tuesday that it was withdrawing from Hong Kong, making TikTok the latest tech company to review its involvement in the territory following a sweeping national security law passed by Beijing.

    TikTok has always been intended for the international market, with parent company ByteDance offering a separate version of the platform, called Douyin, to users in mainland China.

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    The Chinese head of TikTok has defended plans to sell its US operations, describing a deal as the only way to prevent the app from being banned in the US.

    In a letter to Chinese staff, Zhang Yiming said the critics do not see the "full context".

    The letter comes as US President Donald Trump has threatened to bar the social media company.

    Chinese state media have said such pressure amounts to "theft".

    On social media, Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance, has also been described as a "traitor".

    In the letter to staff, which was shared by the company, he acknowledged the criticism, but said "many people misunderstand the current, complex situation".

    He reminded staff of the firm's global ambitions and noted a rise in anti-Chinese sentiment around the world, including in the US and India.

    "As a company, we have to abide by the laws of the markets where we operate," he said. "It feels like the goal was not necessarily a forced sale, but given the current macro situation, a ban or even more."

    Mafia-like behaviour'

    The Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok, saying the data it collects from its users - including an estimated 100 million in the US - is at risk of exploitation by the Chinese government.

    Beijing and TikTok deny those claims, which the US has made against other Chinese tech firms. But a sale to a US company is seen as a way to alleviate such concerns.

    On Sunday, Microsoft confirmed it was in discussions with ByteDance over buying TikTok's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - countries that make up four of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

    On Tuesday, it was reported that Apple is also interested.

    Trump turnaround

    When reports of talks between ByteDance - which has received backing from US investors - and Microsoft surfaced on Friday, Mr Trump said he opposed the deal.

    But he later appeared to okay a potential sale, saying the government - which would review any takeover by a US company for national security risks - should receive a "substantial" cut of any purchase price. Mr Trump has threatened to ban the app on 15 September if there is no deal.

    "The United States should get a very large percentage of that price, because we're making it possible," Mr Trump said.

    Such a demand is highly unorthodox.

    Nicholas Klein, a lawyer at DLA Piper, said generally "the government doesn't have the authority to take a cut of a private deal through" the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is the inter-agency committee that reviews some foreign investments in the US.

    Charlotte Jee, a reporter at MIT Technology Review, a magazine owned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Mr Trump's comments were "pretty astonishing".

    Speaking to the BBC's Today programme, she said: "I hate to say this but it is kind of almost Mafia-like behaviour - threatening a ban which pushes down the price then saying 'oh we should get a cut of that deal afterwards to say thank you for what we've done there'.

    "It is extraordinary behaviour as well because last week we had lawmakers in the US trying to look at whether tech companies are too big and now we've got Trump trying to make one of them even bigger so it is a really, really bizarre situation to be in."


    By Dearbail Jordan, business correspondent

    Former FBI director James Comey once said that dealing with Donald Trump gave him "flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob".

    The US president has certainly made TikTok an offer it can't refuse.

    If the video app doesn't break away from its Chinese owner, ByteDance, and sell its US operation to Microsoft, Mr Trump will simply ban it - putting TikTok's access to its 80 million active American users in jeopardy.

    Mr Trump has already flexed his muscles against other Chinese firms, such as Huawei.

    But what makes the situation with TikTok unprecedented is the demand for a cut of the sale price. The US Treasury has not explained how this extraordinary demand for a cut of a private transaction would work.

    Mr Trump reckons the government should get a big slice of the pie because "we're making it possible".

    However, the deal wouldn't be happening in the first place but for his administration's claim that the likes of TikTok are feeding users' data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.

    Beneath the president's bombast, perhaps this is simply payback for the US and its companies, some of whom claim China has stolen intellectual property from them.

    Perhaps Mr Trump is just doing outwardly what some governments have been doing for years.

    But one thing is certain, Mr Trump's demand for payment has muddied the waters in an already fraught situation.

  10. #10
    Member Lena Norbert's Avatar
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    Sigh...if America bans it, Australia will too for no apparent reason other than America did it.

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Oracle, an enterprise software giant, is in talks to acquire social media company TikTok’s U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand assets, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Oracle is working with a group of U.S. venture capital firms that already have a stake in TikTok, said the person, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. The Financial Times earlier reported on the talks and named General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital as two of the investors working with Oracle.

    Spokespeople for TikTok and Oracle declined to comment.

    Oracle’s talks to acquire TikTok’s operations in four countries are ongoing and have accelerated in recent days, the person said, and it and Microsoft are far ahead of any other companies that have expressed interest. While Microsoft has been working with the U.S. government to acquire TikTok’s assets for more than a month, Oracle’s co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison has expressed his support for President Donald Trump, whose administration has vowed to ban TikTok in the United States if Chinese owner ByteDance does not divest its U.S. operations by November. Ellison threw a campaign fundraising event for Trump earlier this year.

    “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 an executive order last week.

    Oracle doesn’t have a consumer-facing social media or video business. In theory, Oracle could use customer data collected by TikTok to improve its marketing products, but spending tens of billions to acquire a consumer social media company would be a significant departure for the company. Oracle has struggled to find new avenues of growth as Amazon Web Services has dominated cloud computing, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. In Oracle’s fiscal fourth quarter, revenue declined 6% to $10.4 billion. Oracle has a history of being acquisitive but has slowed down on large deals in recent years.

    --CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report.

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    India has already banned all Chinese infrastructure projects.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Starting Sunday, downloads of the massively popular video app TikTok and the messaging app WeChat will be banned in the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Friday morning.

    The department said in a statement that the move was necessary to "safeguard the national security of the United States."


    President Donald Trump issued twin executive orders in August, saying the apps would shut down by Sept. 20 if they were not sold to U.S. owners. The admin claimed the Chinese Communist Party was using data collected through these apps to "threaten the national security, foreign policy and the economy of the U.S."

    PHOTO: The logo of Chinese video app TikTok is seen on the side of the company's new office space at the C3 campus in Culver City, Calif., Aug. 11, 2020.
    Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images, FILE
    Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images, FILE
    The logo of Chinese video app TikTok is seen on the side of the company's new office space at the C3 campus in Culver City, Calif., Aug. 11, 2020.
    The logo of Chinese video app TikTok is seen on the side of the company's new office space at the C3 campus in Culver City, Calif., Aug. 11, 2020.
    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview on Fox Business News Friday morning that these new rules announced this morning were in connection with the executive orders issued in August and are "separate" from the ongoing negotiations between TikTok and tentative U.S. buyers including Oracle and Walmart.

    Ross said that "for all practical purposes" WeChat will be shut down in the U.S. as of midnight Monday with the new Commerce Department ruling.

    MORE: For Chinese Americans, WeChat ban threatens to upend business and community
    "TikTok is more complicated," Ross added, saying that essentially a deadline for a deal with a U.S. buyer has been extended until Nov. 12. In the meantime, updates will be barred in the app.

    "Basic TikTok will stay intact until November 12," he said. "If there is not a deal by November 12 under the provisions of the old order then TikTok also will be, for all practical purposes, shut down."

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo separately weighed in on the news while traveling in Guyana on Friday.

    "The details of the various proposals that have been presented I can't speak to other than to say, our goals are really very simple, protecting American information and data from ending up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party," Pompeo told reporters. "While we are reviewing the proposal, trying to evaluate if we can successfully achieve those outcomes, that will be our priority."

    "If that's the case, we will allow private sector entities to execute a commercial transaction, protecting the American people," he added.

    The ban announced this morning begins Sept. 20, and prohibits the download of TikTok or WeChat from app stores. It also bans the transfer of funds or processing payments within the U.S. for WeChat.

    TikTok, is especially popular among Gen Z-ers, and has an estimated 65 million to 80 million users in the U.S.

    WeChat, meanwhile, is especially popular among the Chinese American community, and has some 19 million users in the U.S. -- a majority of them people of Chinese descent who use the app to connect with love ones or conduct business in China.

    A TikTok spokesperson told ABC News in a statement that they disagree and are disappointed with the Commerce Department's decision to "block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the U.S. from November 12."

    "In our proposal to the U.S. Administration, we've already committed to unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability well beyond what other apps are willing to do, including third-party audits, verification of code security, and U.S. government oversight of U.S. data security," the statement added. "Further, an American technology provider would be responsible for maintaining and operating the TikTok network in the U.S., which would include all services and data serving U.S. consumers."

    The company vowed to continue its challenge against the "unjust executive order" which they say was "enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the U.S. of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods."

    A spokesperson for Tencent, WeChat's parent company, told ABC News that they are reviewing the latest announcement restricting the use of WeChat by U.S. users.

    "WeChat was designed to serve international users outside of mainland China and has always incorporated the highest standards of user privacy and data security," the spokesperson added in a statement. "Following the initial executive order on August 6 we have engaged in extensive discussions with the U.S. government, and have put forward a comprehensive proposal to address its concerns."

    The statement continued: "The restrictions announced today are unfortunate, but given our desire to provide ongoing services to our users in the U.S. -- for whom WeChat is an important communication tool -- we will continue to discuss with the government and other stakeholders in the U.S. ways to achieve a long-term solution."

    ABC News has also reached out to Google and Apple for comment.

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    Senior Member curiouscat's Avatar
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    If I'm reading this right, U.S. is banning TikTok, because they think the Chinese are going to turn us all into communists?!
    I'd understand banning it so stupid teenagers will stop doing all these stupid challenges, but isn't this going against freedom of speech?
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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    The popular video-sharing app TikTok says its future has been in limbo since Donald Trump tried to shut it down earlier this fall and is asking a federal court to intervene.

    Trump in August signed an executive order to ban TikTok if it did not sell its US operations in 45 days. The move forced TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to consider deals with several American companies before ultimately settling on a proposal to place TikTok under the oversight of the American companies Oracle and Walmart, each of which would also have a financial stake in the company.

    But TikTok said this week it’s received “no clarity” from the US government about whether that proposal has been accepted.

    The deal has been under a national-security review by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which is led by the treasury department. The department didn’t return emailed requests for comment this week.

    “With the November 12 CFIUS deadline imminent and without an extension in hand, we have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US,” TikTok said in a written statement Tuesday.

    Trump has cited concerns that the Chinese government could spy on TikTok users if the app remains under Chinese ownership. TikTok has denied it is a security threat but said it is still trying to work with the administration to resolve its concerns.

    The legal challenge is “a protection to ensure these discussions can take place”, the company said.

    The Trump administration had earlier sought to ban the app from smartphone app stores and deprive it of vital technical services. To do this, the US could have internet service providers block TikTok usage from US IP addresses, as India did when it banned TikTok, effectively making TikTok unusable.

    Such actions were set to take place on 20 September but federal judges have so far granted TikTok extensions.

    TikTok is now looking to the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit to review Trump’s divestment order and the government’s national-security review. The company filed a 49-page petition asking the court to review the decision, saying the forced divestment from TikTok violates the constitution.

    “The government has taken virtually all of the ‘sticks’ in the ‘bundle’ of property rights ByteDance possesses in its TikTok US platform, leaving it with no more than the twig of potentially being allowed to make a rushed, compelled sale, under shifting and unrealistic conditions, and subject to governmental approval,” the filing says.

    The US attorney general office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

    You think once Biden gets in the Lawsuit is thrown out though.

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