If the creeps and cretins in Congress fear TikTok, it must be doing something right…
Stop them! They’re looking at me…
TikTok, the viral short video app where millions of teens post comedy skits set to snappy music hooks, is facing a growing backlash in the United States.
US lawmakers on both sides of the aisle warn that the app could pose a national security risk, and are calling on regulators and intelligence agencies to investigate TikTok’s ties to China…
And they’re scared shitless of parody!
The app was downloaded 177 million times last quarter…the second most downloaded app worldwide…It also made $40 million in revenue on the iOS App store last quarter, and has amassed about 100 million users in the United States…
TikTok said in a statement that it stores all US user data in the United States and backs it up in Singapore.
“Our data centers are located entirely outside of China, and none of our data is subject to Chinese law,” the company said in a statement Friday. “Further, we have a dedicated technical team focused on adhering to robust cybersecurity policies, and data privacy and security practices.”
Our Congressional dorks would be laughable if they didn’t have the power they do. Incompetents, brains wrapped in 19th Century DNA, cowardice governed by corruption does not engender respect.
28 thoughts on “Our politicians say TikTok could be a “national security threat”. Best possible recommendation!”
They’re probably trying to figure out a way they can make money off of it.
“Microsoft CEO sees TikTok as ‘prize’ as race tightens with Oracle : Sources tell FOX Business that Microsoft is facing competition from other bidders.” https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/microsoft-tiktok-oracle-satya-nadella
“Microsoft’s acquisition talks with TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance “ballooned” this summer after President Donald Trump intervened, according to a report from The New York Times, citing people familiar with the situation.” [An executive order signed by Trump on Aug. 6 means a sale must go through before Sept. 15.] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/26/microsofts-tiktok-deal-ballooned-after-trump-intervened.html
(NYT) “How TikTok’s Talks With Microsoft Turned Into a Soap Opera : Neither side wanted a big deal. But what began as talks about a small investment ballooned with interventions from President Trump.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/technology/tiktoks-microsoft-deal-soap-opera-trump.html
“Walmart reportedly tried to become TikTok’s majority owner by teaming up with Alphabet and SoftBank before the Trump administration nixed the idea” https://www.businessinsider.com/walmart-alphabet-softbank-tiktok-deal-talks-before-microsoft-government-rejected-2020-8 “…according to CNBC, US government officials vetoed the idea, saying that a tech company needed to lead the deal so that it could effectively secure TikTok’s data.”
From teen dance craze to political tool. How Chinese app TikTok emerged as a force in US election https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/06/22/teen-dance-craze-political-tool-chinese-app-tiktok-emerged-force/
White House Advisor Navarro Says More U.S. Action on TikTok, WeChat to Be Expected : Trump just ‘getting started’ examining apps : Criticizes Amazon for backing off restriction on TikTok use https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-12/navarro-says-more-u-s-action-on-tiktok-wechat-to-be-expected
For one brief moment, Amazon was the first US company to ban TikTok for employees
Wells Fargo Tells Workers to Remove TikTok App From Work Phones https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-11/wells-fargo-tells-workers-to-remove-tiktok-app-from-work-phones
TikTok users panic as Trump admin considers banning app https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/10/tech/tiktok-ban-users/index.html
“Trump says he will ban TikTok through executive action as soon as Saturday “https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/31/trump-says-he-will-ban-tiktok-through-executive-action-as-soon-as-saturday.html Speaking from Air Force One as he returned from Florida, he said: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
The president said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority” before adding: “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”
“TikTok ban: Josh Gad tells upset users to ‘show Trump you’re angry’ at November election : ‘Now would be a good time to register to vote,’ the Frozen star said” https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/tiktok-ban-us-trump-josh-gad-2020-election-register-vote-november-frozen-a9649251.html
TikTok users were held to be partly responsible for the low turnout at the president’s recent rally in Tulsa. While it is unclear how much of a difference those people actually made, reports at the time suggested that posts had encouraged users to sign up for tickets so that they were unavailable to supporters who actually intended to go.
The app is said to have as many as 80 million users in the US.
(8/3/20) “Today the president appeared to bless the budding Microsoft-TikTok deal, continuing his evolution on a possible transaction. After stating last Friday that he’d rather see TikTok banned than sold to a U.S.-based company, Trump changed his tune over the weekend. TikTok is owned by China-based company ByteDance, which owns a portfolio of apps and services.
A weekend phone call between Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, and the American premier appeared to change his mind, leading to the software company sharing publicly on Sunday that it was pursuing a deal.
Then today the president, endorsing a deal between an American company and ByteDance over TikTok, also said that he expects a chunk of the sale price to wind up in the accounts of the American government.
The American president has long struggled with basic economic concepts. For example, who pays tariffs. But to see Trump state that he expects to receive a chunk of a deal between two private companies that he is effectively forcing to the altar is surreal.” https://techcrunch.com/2020/08/03/trump-calls-tiktok-a-hot-brand-demands-a-chunk-of-its-sale-price/
Article includes a transcription of a few minutes of Trump’s explanation from this morning, when asked about the weekend call with Microsoft’s Nadella.
C-SPAN transcription of the entire meeting at https://www.c-span.org/video/?474464-1/president-trump-hiring-american-executive-order-signing
Chinese state media labeled the U.S. a “rogue country” and dubbed the potential sale of social media firm TikTok to Microsoft as “theft,” adding that Beijing “has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab” of TikTok. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/04/tiktok-microsoft-deal-state-media-says-china-could-retaliate.html
“This is an open robbery. The world is watching and God is watching that how President Trump is turning the once great America into a rogue country.” Hu Xijin 胡锡进 @HuXijin_GT, Editor-in-chief of Chinese and English editions of the Global Times (7:19 PM · Aug 3, 2020) https://twitter.com/HuXijin_GT/status/1290457300298334217
“Trump’s TikTok threats may drive users to Facebook-owned Instagram. Is that the point?
The president says he wants to protect Americans’ data from a foreign government before an election, so the video app has to be sold. Yes, it’s strange.” (NBC news 8/3/20) https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-tiktok-threats-may-drive-users-facebook-owned-instagram-ncna1235712
“Trump gives ByteDance 90-day deadline to sell US TikTok operations : President also ramps up pressure on Chinese tech by ending waiver allowing sales to Huawei” (Financial Times) https://www.ft.com/content/7b714fe4-cdb5-4ee6-966a-35ec2bbe1e92
“Trump’s Incoherent Policy on TikTok and China” (The New Yorker) https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/donald-trumps-incoherent-policy-on-tiktok-and-china “…The Trump Administration has been waging an on-again, off-again economic war with China, and TikTok, a wildly popular video-sharing app, currently sits at the center of it. TikTok is owned by a Beijing-based technology company called ByteDance, which was founded, in 2012, by Zhang Yiming, one of China’s most successful technology entrepreneurs.”
“The Trump administration wants a US-China commercial split : Wrenching Chinese and American corporate worlds apart would hurt everyone” (The Economist) https://www.economist.com/business/2020/08/15/the-trump-administration-wants-a-us-china-commercial-split
“Trump says Americans will have to learn Chinese if Biden wins” (CNN) https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/11/politics/trump-china-biden-learn-chinese/index.html
“In a pair of interviews on Tuesday, President Donald Trump railed against his competitor for being weak on China — but stopped short himself of condemning China’s repression of its Uyghur ethnic minority or its crackdown on political freedoms in Hong Kong.
“China will own the United States if this election is lost by Donald Trump,” Trump, referring to himself in the third person, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “If I don’t win the election, China will own the United States. You’re going to have to learn to speak Chinese, you want to know the truth.”
TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration, challenging the president’s executive order banning the service from the United States.
The video-sharing app hugely popular with the smartphone generation will file the federal lawsuit as soon as Tuesday, according to a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company. It will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok’s American operations are based, the person said.
NPR has learned that the lawsuit will argue that President Trump’s far-reaching action is unconstitutional because it failed to give the company a chance to respond. It also alleges that the administration’s national security justification for the order is baseless, according to the source. (NPR 8/8/20) https://www.npr.org/2020/08/08/900394707/tiktok-to-sue-trump-administration-over-ban-as-soon-as-tuesday
“TikTok’s fate was shaped by a ‘knockdown, drag-out’ Oval Office brawl : Trump advisers Mnuchin and Navarro fought over TikTok as Silicon Valley dealmakers tried to get closer to Trump” https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/08/08/trump-tiktok-mnuchin-navarro/
(Reuters) – TikTok is preparing to mount a legal challenge as early as Monday to President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting transactions with the popular short video app and its Chinese parent ByteDance, according to people familiar with the matter. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tiktok-trump-exclusive/exclusive-tiktok-to-challenge-u-s-order-banning-transactions-with-the-video-app-idUSKBN25H2QG
The Political Pundits of TikTok : Teenagers are campaigning, debating, running fact checks and forming party-based coalitions (hype houses). One of them called it “cable news for young people.” (NYT 2/27/20) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/style/tiktok-politics-bernie-trump.html
“A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, openly supported the company and others in taking up legal weapons to defend their rights and interests.
In response to questions concerning the lawsuits that TikTok and some WeChat users have filed against the U.S. government executive order banning TikTok in the United States, Lijian defended their decision, assuring that “China will also continue to take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”
He went on to say that some U.S. politicians are trying to destroy these Chinese companies, along with Huawei, because they have caught the “anti-China syndrome” and will attack anything Chinese.
These reckless actions by various U.S. officials are essentially coordinated and targeted bullying against outperforming non-US multinational companies, whose success the U.S. elite fears and would resort to state power to pummel if necessary, Lijian added.” (telSUR Aug 25, 2020) https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/China-Defends-TikToks-Lawsuit-to-Protect-Its-Interests-20200824-0022.html (includes video)
“The anti-China syndrome” (Prospect, July 1997) https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/theantichinasyndrome
The CEO of TikTok Kevin Mayer resigned from his post on Thursday, amid pressure from the Trump administration for the Chinese-owned video-sharing app to sell its business. https://www.dw.com/en/tiktok-ceo-resigns-amid-white-house-pressure-to-sell-us-business/a-54711787
“…A US citizen, Mayer had been one of TikTok’s key counterarguments that the app was already US-based and not a surveillance tool of the Chinese government.” See https://www.dw.com/en/chinese-public-outraged-over-tiktok-sale-forced-by-donald-trump/a-54459787
“China’s ByteDance told engineers of its popular short-video app TikTok this week to make contingencies should it need to shut down its U.S. operations, even as it works toward divesting them, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tiktok-shutdown-exclusive/exclusive-bytedance-asks-tiktok-to-draw-up-us-shutdown-contingencies-idUSKBN25N2ZS “ByteDance is also making separate plans for TikTok U.S. employees and vendors to be compensated in the event of a shutdown, one of the sources added. TikTok has already implemented a hiring freeze in the U.S. for most open positions because of the uncertainty, bringing in only 5% of the staff it planned to recruit, according to the source.”
“Why TikTok may not survive being sold” https://www.theverge.com/interface/2020/8/28/21404215/tiktok-sale-microsoft-walmart-oracle-challenges-bytedance-china-algorithm
(ABC News Aug 25, 2020) “Kat Kamalani, a flight attendant from Salt Lake City, Utah, knows a thing or two about hotel stays. Her TikTok on tips for hotel check-ins has gone viral and is a must-watch if a hotel stay is in your future.
From staying safe to checking for bed bugs, the video has been watched almost 6 million times. It covers all the basics and some things most people never think of.” https://abcnews.go.com/Travel/Travel/viral-tiktok-watch-hotel-stay/story?id=72569324
“TikTok Sale: China’s New Tech Export Controls Could Give Beijing a Say
Microsoft and Oracle are among the suitors for the assets, which also includes TikTok’s Canada, New Zealand and Australia operations.” https://www.cnet.com/news/china-on-tiktok-sale-not-so-fast/
“China export restrictions pose new risk for TikTok sale in US : Beijing includes advanced technologies such as AI on list requiring special licences” https://www.ft.com/content/b87186b4-081c-49a6-a269-6d6db52fc1c8
“TikTok Assets Can’t Be Sold Without China’s Approval” (Bloomberg) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-30/china-curbs-exports-of-some-artificial-intelligence-technologies
“China’s new tech export controls could give Beijing a say in TikTok sale” (Reuters) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tiktok-china/chinas-new-tech-export-controls-could-give-beijing-a-say-in-tiktok-sale-idUSKBN25Q05Q
“The TikTok Ban Should Worry Every Company” (Harvard Business review) https://hbr.org/2020/08/the-tiktok-ban-should-worry-every-company
“The bigger stakes of the TikTok debate : It’s not just TikTok that’s in trouble. The open internet is too.” (Vox) https://www.vox.com/videos/2020/8/29/21406008/tiktok-ban-china-splinternet-nationalism
(Bloomberg) — “President Donald Trump said he’s told people involved in the sale of the U.S. assets of ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok that the deal must be struck by Sept. 15 and the federal government must be “well compensated,” or the service will be shut down.” https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-insists-compensation-u-tiktok-175935464.html
“Sale talks for TikTok’s U.S. operations have been complicated by the key question of whether the app’s core algorithms can be included as part of a deal, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal that cited unidentified people familiar with the matter.
Those algorithms decide what videos users see without first requiring them to follow other users or specify their preferences. The Journal report stated the algorithms were considered part of the deal negotiations up until Friday. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/09/01/tiktok-sale-complicated-algorithm-question-reports/5686776002/
“Making money on TikTok: Creators will be able to sell their own merchandise from the app.
“Trump’s first TikTok move: A China quagmire of his own making.” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/11/trumps-tiktok-china-412053 “A second senior administration official said the White House is committed to policing any tech platform that can be manipulated to suppress speech and abuse its users. “At the end of the day,” the official said, “the data we produce in this day and age is roughly equivalent to our thoughts. So what you have is a modern day crystallization of the thought police that George Orwell wrote about in his novel, ‘1984.’”
“TikTok Owner to Spend Billions in Singapore After U.S. Ban”
“ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the popular app TikTok, rejected an offer Sunday from Microsoft to oversee TikTok’s U.S. operations, The New York Times reports. Without Microsoft, Oracle is the last remaining publicly known bidder in the running for the sell-off, which was demanded by Trump in an executive order issued in August. Why TikTok rejected Microsoft’s bid is not yet known, though the Times points to Microsoft’s public admission it would insist on controlling the code for TikTok’s English-speaking versions. This would conflict with new regulations from China banning a transfer of TikTok’s technology without permission from the communist government.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/tiktok-and-bytedance-reject-microsoft-bid-to-take-over-us-operations
(NYT): “Microsoft Says Its Bid for TikTok Was Rejected in U.S.-China Standoff : The move leaves Oracle as the sole known remaining bidder, as the clock ticks down on President Trump’s executive order to block the app.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/13/technology/tiktok-microsoft-oracle-bytedance.html
On Aug. 6, President Trump issued an executive order saying that TikTok must essentially strike a deal to sell off its U.S. operations by Sept. 20. He later issued a second executive order giving ByteDance a few weeks after that to close a sale.
“Trump’s TikTok showdown is poised to reward his Silicon Valley political allies” https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/14/tech/tiktok-politics/index.html
“As Oracle seeks US approval for a landmark partnership with the short-form video app TikTok, experts say questions will intensify over Trump’s political relationship with Oracle chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison.
One of the richest men in the world, Ellison has built extensive bridges with Trump. He has vocally expressed support for the President and reportedly hosted a major fundraiser for him this year where donors who paid $100,000 were offered a chance to golf with Trump.
Nor will the scrutiny be limited to Ellison; Oracle CEO Safra Catz shares close ties with Trump as well. She has donated more than $130,000 to Trump’s reelection efforts this year, according to Federal Election Commission data. Catz served on Trump’s presidential transition team in 2016 and was at one point considered for a position inside the administration. Both Catz and Ellison have served on Trump’s industry working groups devoted to economic revival.
Oracle didn’t respond to requests for comment. The White House declined to comment.”
“The Chinese version of TikTok now has 600 million daily active users” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/15/bytedance-douyin-has-600-million-daily-active-users.html
“Over 22 million creators made more than 41.7 billion yuan ($6.15 billion) on the platform over the past year, ByteDance China CEO Kelly Zhang said at the Douyin Creator Conference in Shanghai.
The company also announced plans to invest traffic resources worth 10 billion yuan to support creators and double their income to 80 billion yuan in the coming year.”
Approval of Oracle’s deal to become a “trusted technology provider” for ByteDance’s TikTok will be announced on Tuesday afternoon, CNBC’s Jim Cramer reported. A source familiar with the matter later confirmed to CNBC’s Eamon Javers that a decision could come Tuesday. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/15/cramer-says-trump-administration-will-approve-oracle-tiktok-deal-tuesday.html
Oracle’s plans to become a “trusted technology provider” for TikTok falls short of President Donald Trump’s demand for a full acquisition of the company’s U.S. business. That could make the deal trickier to gain support from U.S. officials who still must approve it, though could assuage some concerns from Chinese officials about a forced sale. Oracle’s leadership has maintained a close relationship with the Trump administration, however, with CEO Safra Catz previously taking part in Trump’s transition team and Chairman Larry Ellison hosting a fundraiser for Trump’s reelection campaign earlier this year.
Analysts estimate 15% of TikTok users will be first-time voters as details emerge from negotiations https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/new-analysis-estimates-15-of-tiktok-users-will-be-first-time-voters-as-details-emerge-from-negotiations “New analysis of public data estimate that 15% of all TikTok users will be first-time voters, a sizable chunk of the apps 100 million monthly users. President Trump is expected to decide on TikTok’s fate in the U.S. in the next 24-36 hours, sources told CNBC’s David Faber. ByteDance plans to IPO TikTok’s global business. Walmart is expected to partner with Oracle in a deal where Oracle would own less than 20% of the social media app, according to the sources.”
“…Private valuations of the company have been estimated to be about $50 billion. Recent public offerings, such as Snowflake, have added billions of dollars in valuation when stocks hit the public markets.
A deal that keeps ByteDance as a majority stakeholder in TikTok’s U.S. operations will contradict Trump’s earlier pronouncements that the only remedy to a U.S. ban is a sale to a U.S.-based company. TikTok selected Oracle’s offer to be a “trusted technology partner” and a minority stake holder earlier this week over Microsoft’s offer, which had been in talks to acquire all of TikTok’s U.S. assets, as well as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Chinese officials would also have a say in any potential deal involving TikTok, which could further complicate any resolution.
Trump on Wednesday also backed off his desire to demand “key money” from allowing the transaction, saying his lawyers told him it was illegal.
“Amazingly I find that you’re not allowed to do that,” Trump said. “I said, ‘What kind of a thing is this?’ If they’re willing to make big payments to the government, they’re not allowed because there’s no way of doing that from a — there’s no legal path to do that.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/17/trump-to-rule-on-tiktok-deal-in-24-36-hours-oracle-to-take-20percent-stake.html
US will ban WeChat and TikTok downloads on Sunday https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/18/tech/tiktok-download-commerce/index.html
“Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”
Wilbur Ross is a cretin.
…who wears expensive slippers https://www.gq.com/story/secretary-of-commerce-slippers-stubbs-wooton-congressional-address
8AM MDT, this morning, 18th
“Trump administration appeals court order blocking TikTok restrictions” https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/28/tech/tiktok-federal-appeal-intl-hnk/index.html
“How TikTok personalities are making a name for themselves by delivering news to Gen Z” https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/how-tiktok-personalities-are-making-a-name-for-themselves-by-delivering-news-to-gen-z/2021/04/29/73fcd106-8bf8-11eb-a6bd-0eb91c03305a_story.html
“On the evening of Election Day 2020, Marcus DiPaola kept hearing the same thing: People were turning off cable news because results were coming in slowly. So from his D.C. apartment, he recorded brief polling updates at the top of every hour with data from FiveThirtyEight and the JHK Presidential Forecast, then posted them to his TikTok profile.
Within five minutes, DiPaola’s first video received 200,000 likes. Flash forward six months, and his TikTok journalism still follows the same formula: In a 30- to 60- second clip, he delivers a to-the-point news update. He has amassed 2.5 million followers.”
Marcus DiPaola at marcus.dipaola https://firstname.lastname@example.org?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v3
Biden revokes and replaces Trump executive orders that banned TikTok https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/09/biden-revokes-and-replaces-trump-executive-orders-that-banned-tiktok.html