News By/Courtesy: Riddhima Kedia | 01 Aug 2020 22:10pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • TikTok is facing investigation over privacy concerns
  • TikTok welcomed a healthy competition in the market
  • Microsoft Corp is in talks to buy ByteDance-owned TikTok

TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming will now reveal its breakthrough, modified policies, data flows to regulators. 

Recently, the Chinese networking service has been facing investigations over privacy concerns, it has been reported that the users were facing difficulty due to unauthorized access by Spiers over their personal data. TikTok has raised a fund of $200 million for creators and influencers in the United States. The company asserted its basic agenda behind the move and said that it wants better transparency and accountability. The company has also opened a room for bigger companies to follow suits & ameliorate in their business.

TikTok's Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Mayer said, “The entire industry has received scrutiny, and rightly so. Yet, we have received even more scrutiny due to the company's Chinese origins. We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability. We believe it is essential to show users, advertisers, creators, and regulators that we are responsible and committed members of the American community that follows US laws.”

When questioned about the companies algorithm Mayer said, “We believe our entire industry should be held to an exceptionally high standard. That's why we believe all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators. We will not wait for regulation to come, but instead, TikTok has taken the first step by launching a Transparency and Accountability Center for moderation and data practices. Experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms. This puts us a step ahead of the industry, and we encourage others to follow suit.”

The company’s CEO mentioned their welcome for healthy competition in the market and at the same time addressed the new feature on Instagram called commonly known as Instagram Reels to be a “copycat product”. He further gave an open challenge and stated to “bring it on”. He mentioned that Facebook’s previous video-making tool Lasso was also a “copycat product” and that it had failed quickly.

“At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on. Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram) after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly. But let's focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor namely Facebook disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US,” said the CEO. 

The China-based company said that it has aimed to offer 10,000 job positions in the US over the next three years. “TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy,” Mayer said. Lately, TikTok was banned in India with 58 other Chinese apps over security concerns.

On Friday, a report by the New York Times revealed that Microsoft Corp is in talks to buy ByteDance-owned TikTok. White House officials have said that TikTok may pose a national security threat because of its Chinese ownership. President Donald Trump is planning several courses of action, including an executive order that could use the vast powers of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to bar certain foreign apps from American app stores. Some reports reveal that the Trump administration has also considered whether to add TikTok’s parent to a so-called “entity list,” which would restrict its purchase of American products and services without a special license. Further discussion will be held in the next weekend. 

Changing ownership is crucial for TikTok. The United States is one of TikTok’s major markets, so continued operations in the country is a priority. According to the research firm PitchBook, ByteDance’s valuation recently stood at around $100 billion so, any deal would likely be expensive.

 

This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion etcetera. This article is based purely on the author's personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

 

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 02 Aug 2020 0:05am IST


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