For weeks now the Trump administration has been teasing the public on what’s going to happen with TikTok due to its ongoing censorship concerns, in this era of worsening China-US conflict. Now the president is saying it will happen as soon as Saturday, August 1.
In the tech industry, everyone is scrutinized considering the pandemic has caused more and more people to go digital. Silicon Valley giants just recently faced Congress for an antitrust hearing but out of all commonly used apps this year, TikTok has been under fire. The video-sharing app already lost its Indian users and Trump is making sure it will be banned by using executive action.
While chatting with reporters on Air Force One on a flight from Florida to Washington, Trump spoke about his plans to use an executive order to keep Americans from using the app saying, “I have the authority. I can do it with an executive order or [emergency economic powers].”
There was hope in the past few days for the company when it was reported that US investors are eyeing the company for ownership, and one interested party that stood out was Microsoft. Apparently, Microsoft initially wanted to focus on the Chinese app’s smaller US business, saving thousands of US employees from losing their jobs, and later on diving into the idea of purchasing the entire company.
Critics are predicting that if Microsoft’s plans work, it will remain scrutinized by the current administration wherein the company will be thoroughly monitored, and if ByteDance can’t sell the app to TikTok, the opportunity may be taken by other private equity firms.
TikTok has made some efforts to keep US users engaged like unveiling a $200 million fund for US-based users – a total of $2 billion of worldwide funding – for creators to earn as they continue to make interesting and unique content amidst Facebook’s preparation to launch Instagram Reels, which will be TikTok’s competitor.