A question mark still hangs over the head of TikTok’s future in the American soil. In recent weeks nothing has been going right for the Chinese short video application. While the application was seeing a growth of its download and receiving huge praise from its ever-growing fan base, suddenly it became a focal point of different political sentiments. First, the Indo-China border clash excavated anti-China sentiments saw TikTok along with a huge number of other Chinese-backed applications getting banned from the Indian app stores. The US-China trade war has been up for long. COVID-19 being transmitted from China made the country target of the US president. A few weeks back the president Donald Trump ordered the company to divest the US operations of the company or get banned.
The order from the president came on August 6th. The US government alleged that the China-based company collects information on various aspects and transfers them over to the Chinese communist government. This gives Chinese direct access to “Americans’ personal and proprietary information”.
However, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance has denied the blames from the beginning. They even claimed that the US user data is stored in the United States itself and it’s backup is stored in Singapore. The data centers being located outside the border of China, it does not come under Chinese law.
The sale must go through before the 15th of September or the app might get banned in the United States. US president said that they will have the full support of any deal that the Chinese make with any US-based company if only the United States treasury gets a profitable cut of the deal.
Since then the company has been looking for interested buyers to divest the company’s United States assets. Microsoft has been linked with the deal for long. Walmart has also added its name as one of the interested parties that look forward to obtaining the assets.
Meanwhile, Kevin Mayer, the CEO of TikTok had quit the company, months after he was appointed. CNBC reported of a letter that the CEO sent for his employees, saying, “In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for. Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”
The recent update:
In a recent episode of the TikTok saga, Triller Inc’s executive chairman Bobby Sarnevesht commented on Friday stating that they had made $ 20 billion offer along with investment firm Centricus Asset Management Ltd to acquire the TikTok’s America’s assets that the Chinese company ByteDance is looking to divest.
Although the claims made by the chairman, both TikTok and ByteDance has denied any knowledge of the offer as reported by Yahoo finance. This might also be a publicity stunt for the rival short video-making application.
TikTok has a heavy user base in the United States. Their number of active users in the US is close to 100 million. This makes companies like Microsoft and Oracle interested to invest in the short video making application as it seems to be a profitable acquisition for the company.
Reuters reported Triller Inc’s executive chairman Bobby Sarnevesht to say, “We submitted an offer directly to the chairman of ByteDance through Centricus, and have confirmation it was received and is under consideration by him.”
Also, Yahoo Finance reported that a TikTok spokesperson claimed that no offer has been received by the short video making application from its rival. Although, the CEO of Triller Inc. explained the confusion by claiming that this was because they were dealing directly with the chairman of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, Zhang Yiming.
However, ByteDance’s statement was also reported by the media outlet, where they said, “The company has not had any conversations with them and we are unaware of any interest.”
They also published comments of an anonymous spokesperson who knows the financial details of the deal. He said that the proposed $ 20 billion bid would get financed by Centricus while Triller Inc would run the company if the bid gets accepted.
Bobby Sarnevesht also said in his statement, “We understand our offer is upsetting to some TikTok U.S. executives, as it upsets a deal that may be more favorable to them and less favorable to the shareholders. They are doing everything they can to discredit our offer and keep it from being seen as real.”
The short video making application Triller Inc only has a monthly active user base in the US of about 65 million, whereas the company they are dealing with boasts of monthly 100 million active users in the United States. Triller also raised $ 1.25 billion valuations in a private fundraising round earlier.
Donald Trump, the president of the United States joined the Triller platform a few weeks back.
The CEO said, “We’ve gotten assurances from people close to the White House that this is something that the administration would favor.”
He also said that all they now needed was TikTok to pass on their database to them and they are capable of managing it themselves.