TikTok to be bought by American companies after possible ban

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Jaden Tremelling, Entertainment Copy Editor

TikTok is a multi-billion dollar social media app owned by the Chinese company, Bytedance. With over 800 million active users and over 2 billion downloads, TikTok is one of the biggest apps in the world. However, since July 7, President Donald Trump has spoken on the possibility of banning the app completely in the United States. With TikTok downloads set to be banned Sept. 27, there has been a push to buy the app from American companies.

A reason to ban TikTok is because many believe that the app is sharing user data with the Chinese Communist Party. This would let the Chinese Communist Party find a user’s whereabouts or what they are up to. That could lead to problems, such as if a user is in a military base or government building. 

“Although it doesn’t affect me, I’ve seen many important people such as politicians with TikTok accounts so that might be a concern,” said Sophie Chason, senior.

In addition to users’ privacy being threatened, the app also has massive power politically. The Chinese app actively censors videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibet Independence, Ughar Muslims and Hong Kong protests. Limiting this free speech has some users angered, especially the ones affected by these incidents. 

Many users are against the ban of TikTok though, with some creators making a living off the app. The most followed user on TikTok, Charli D’amelio, has over 86 million followers, and has earned an estimated net worth of four million dollars. In addition to creators, TikTok has plans to hire more than 10,000 employees over the next three years.

In addition to providing jobs to workers, most users just use the app for unproblematic fun. Many people partake in the many genres of TikTok videos, ranging from dancing, comedy and politics.

“I have lots of fun with my friends learning different dances on TikTok, it’s just an easy way to pass time,” said Joy Winton, senior.

TikTok is not only controversial in the United States. India banned TikTok in June 2020, and other countries such as Australia are also looking to ban the app. This is due to increasing tensions between the countries, with India and China even having a border dispute where soldiers have died.

In response to an apparent TikTok ban, Walmart and Oracle are said to be joining hands to create a new company to buy the app, called TikTok Global which will be based in the United States. The deal would reportedly sell 20% of the company and total control of the app, while Bytedance kept the other 80%.

“I would feel a lot safer if TikTok was a US business rather than a Chinese one, I feel like a lot of problems could pop up in the future if it continues to be Chinese,” said Winton.