(Washington) New twists and turns in the TikTok saga, the social network that Washington and Beijing have been fighting over for weeks: a US judge asked the government on Thursday to push back the ban on the app, scheduled for Sunday night. see you Monday.
Posted September 24, 2020 at 11:16 am
A few hours earlier, the Chinese group ByteDance, the parent company of Tiktok, indicated that it had applied to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for permission to export technology – without clearly linking this initiative to a possible sale of the popular application. .
From 11:59 PM on Sunday, current US users of the platform will no longer be able to update, and potential new followers will no longer be able to download.
To avoid this situation, TikTok should do this. putting its operations in the United States under US control, in line with an executive order signed this summer by Donald Trump accusing the app of siphoning US users' data on Beijing's behalf without evidence.
But an American judge conceded. to the government until Friday afternoon to either reject this ultimatum or explain its position. If he refuses, the court could organize another hearing on Sunday morning.
Ultimately, if no agreement is reached, the application could also disappear completely from screens in the United States as of November 12. after the Treasury.
Over the weekend, the app confirmed plans to start a new company, TikTok Global, involving Oracle as a technology partner in the US and Walmart as a business partner.
It plans to acquire a 12.5% stake in Oracle and a 7.5% stake in Walmart. The Americans would hold four of the five seats on the board.
But this project depends on the goodwill of the US President and the Chinese government in the midst of the trade war.
On Monday, the White House host campaigned for reelection, insisting he would not approve if the new group remained under Chinese control, claiming that Oracle and Walmart were the majority of the new group. would own.
ByteDance, which also includes US investors, called this information "false rumors".
But on Thursday, the Chinese group announced that it had made a "request for permission" to export technology, without specifying on what subject.
This initiative could relate to the famous algorithm that made TikTok so successful: it shows users the content that is likely to interest them, depending on their tastes, and makes them spend most of the time impossible to watch video after video. on the platform.
China refuses to let this precious computer system fall into the hands of the United States. On August 28, Beijing included the algorithms in the list of artificial intelligence technologies that cannot be exported without permission.
Caught in this political vice, the American leaders of TikTok launched a communications campaign this summer to prove their anchoring and their worth in the United States.
Faced with the arguments for the protection of national security advanced by Donald Trump, society presents itself as a defender of freedom of speech and the US Constitution.
He also stresses the importance of the platform in democratic debates leading up to the November 3 US elections.
] “The app's mix of light entertainment and humor fueled TikTok's initial growth. But today […]many content creators use our app to express their solidarity with social movements, assert their political preferences or support candidates, with an audience of millions, ”note the firm's lawyers. in their last resort against Sunday's ban.
The social network, as well as some creators, users and experts, believe that Donald Trump is attacking the app for being primarily visited by young people, and facilitated spontaneous political actions against the US president, including at a recent major political rally.
The social network with 100 million users also states that blocking downloads would do irreparable damage.
As of July 1, when the first rumors of a ban began to circulate, TikTok added approximately 424,000 new US users every day, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok's acting boss, clarified on appeal.
"Without new users, we cannot compete with other platforms," she notes.