TikTok is in trouble after India banned this app; it was rocking on its way to success. It was creating new social media stars and challenging the domination of Silicon Valley, but all of that is history. With India’s ban, the fortunes of Tik Tok have turned for the worse. Countries around the world now want to make an example out of Tik Tok, so it is facing bans, calls for a boycott in multiple countries, and users are abandoning the platform. Tik Tok is called china’s first International social media platform. It may also be the first to suffer because of China. India was the first country to ban it, now other countries want to follow the suit.
How Tik Tok facing global scrutiny and what is are its planes to survive this existential crisis. Why is Tik Tok such a big deal and why is it a security worry.
More criticism came Tik Tok’s way in June. News reports that they have found that the app was snooping on the clipboards of users. This feature allows someone to copy and paste data from one app to another. These privacy concerns have led to lawsuits. Tik Tok’s Chinese origins don’t help it either. Under China’s security law, the company has to share user data if the Chinese government demands it. The threat of snooping has led to several bans on Tik Tok. The US army and navy have banned it. The Australian defense department banned Tik Tok in January. Earlier this month, Tik Tok was banned from all American’s government-issued phones. Now the administration is mulling a complete ban. Lawmakers are patching for broader restrictions now. They want a complete ban for everyone in America. The US secretary of State’s Mike Pompeo stated that:
“With respect to Tik Tok, I want to put it in a broader context. We have been engaged in a constant evaluation of ensuring that we protect the privacy of American citizens and their information as a transit so this doesn’t relate to any one particular business or company but rather to the American national security. We are striving to get that light, whether it was the problem with having Huawei technology in our infrastructure, we have gone all over the world and we are making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American National security. We have don’t all of these things with respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones. I can assure you the United States will get this one right too. “
Even if the app is banned, there is another major concern- Data already collected by Tik Tok will remain stored with the company, something that could still be accessed by anyone who has access to the servers of Tik Tok. Tik Tok’s troubles are mounting in more ways than one. A top executive has left the company. Tik Tok’s owner bide dance has lost its head of artificial intelligence. The name is Ma Wei Ying; he will leave by the end of this month. To be honest, Tik Tok saw all of this coming, the company knew that its links with China will hurt it at some point. So it made four moves to evade this trouble.
1) It has put distance between the app and the communist party if China.
2) Hiring foreign executives
3) Paying influencers to keep the platform going
4) Hiring an army of Lobbyists.
This is TiK Tok’s new survival strategy.
A different app was created just for the Chinese market. Tik Tok is available in china but with a different name and a different version. It is called Douyin. The company hired foreign executives to lead its operations in the month of May. Tik Tok hired an American CEO, Kevin Mayer. Earlier he worked with Disney. As of today, Mayer is the CEO of Tik Tok and COO of its parent company by dance. Interestingly, most of the top executives of Tik Tok now, are American citizens. Any social Media app needs active users to survive and influencers play a key role in all of this. They’re known as Tik Tokers in this case. For many of them, Tik Tok became a legitimate way to earn a living but after the app was banned in India, many Tik Tok use has begun moving to another platform so Tik Tok has pulled out the checkbook. It has created a 200milliom dollar fund to finance creators, content creators but the company has not shared specifics. How it plans to distribute all of this money. That’s not all Tik Tok is doing to survive, it had hired an army of lobbyists in the US, just to protect its business. Their reports say this is a recent development until last year Tik Tok felt no such need. They had no lobbyists in Washington, D.C. a year ago. Now the Tik Tok has more than 35 and this includes one person reportedly in deep ties to US President Donald Trump.
Why such special attention to America you may ask because if the US bans Tik Tok the world will follow suit. This is not just about business which is also important. But other countries may follow what America does, especially America’s allies who will be emboldened by an American ban on Tik Tok. But remember, it’s the ban in India that has proven to be the catalyst for this global action.