Trump's Tik in the arse!
Microsoft foils US president’s plans to crush video-share app
Microsoft announced last night they would take over the stewardship of the data of US-based users of TikTok after President Donald Trump vowed to ban the video-sharing app in the States.
Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned from Florida on Friday that he would ban the popular Chinese-owned video app that has been a source of national security and censorship concerns.
"As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States," he declared.
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."
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, TikTok highlighted the fact that it hired 1,000 people for its US team this year alone, and were " proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees".
"These are the facts: 100 million Americans come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, especially during the pandemic," the statement says.
"We've hired nearly 1,000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the US. Our $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform," it says.
"TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok's biggest investors come from the US.
"We are committed to protecting our users' privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform."
ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017 as a competitor to Facebook and Snap and it has grown in popularity, hitting two billion downloads during April.
But the firm's rise has prompted US government scrutiny. The US has long accused China of intellectual property theft, something Beijing denies.
The other main concern is national security, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo having previously described Chinese state-backed tech companies as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence".
Yesterday, ByteDance agreed to divest its TikTok operations in the US, according to a report.
Under this new deal, Microsoft would be in charge of protecting US based users' data, and another US based company would be allowed to operate TikTok.