However, similar denials have not been enough to stop another Chinese tech company, Huawei, from being banned in the U.S. - with the White House subsequently pressuring allies to follow suit (GCSB Minister Andrew Little says our spy agency's decision to ban Huawei was made independently).
"It's going to be signed tomorrow". At the same time, the Peterson Institute for International Economics called the app a "Huawei-sized problem" for the U.S.
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"If Microsoft or any USA company buys TikTok this will be carefully monitored to make sure there is absolutely no Chinese involvement in the new company", said one Wall Street executive with knowledge of the matter. It has already been downloaded 2 billion times worldwide, and 165 million of those downloads were in the U.S.
In a related development, TikTok spokesperson Vanessa Pappas issued a message to TikTok users, saying the company was "not planning on going anywhere", and is "here for the long run", ready to invest in its user community and create 10,000 new jobs over the next three years. A twin service, Douyin, is available for Chinese users. "TikTok U.S. user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access". Earlier this month, a group of ByteDance's USA investors, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, were looking into buying a majority stake in TikTok, according to The Information.
USA officials are concerned that TikTok may pose a security threat, fearing that the company might share its user data with China's government. "We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok", Trump's voice can be heard saying as Sarah's mouth moves and her hair blows up in the air in the amusing TikTok video, which can be seen below.
ByteDance, Microsoft and the U.S. Treasury Department, which chairs the government panel that has been reviewing ByteDance's ownership of TikTok, declined to comment. Pompeo added that the Trump administration was evaluating TikTok as it has with other Chinese state-backed tech companies like Huawei and ZTE, which he has previously described as 'Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence.' But are national security concerns really behind Trump's sudden pronouncement?
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This has heightened fears that Beijing is stripping away the freedoms that Hong Kong has enjoyed. The decision was aimed at safeguarding people's health, she said .
U.S. national-security officials have been reviewing the Musical.ly acquisition in recent months, while the United States armed forces have banned their employees from installing TikTok on government-issued phones.
"We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda - our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy", TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said in post this week.
These national-security worries parallel a broader US security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE.
Simultaneously, the Department of Home Affairs is investigating what steps the Government can take to manage any privacy or data security risks it poses.
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The findings marked the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market, Canalys said. However, it was able to hold the edge and make history due to Samsung's shipments dropping 30% compared to 2019.
This week, TikTok was in the news for pulling a video critical of China's mass detention of Uighurs. Chinese law can compel any domestic company to hand over all collected user data.