For someone who loves using social media while on the toilet at 3 in the morning, Donald Trump sure hates TikTok.
For those who don’t know, TikTok is an app that allows users to share short video clips set to music. It’s also a platform that encourages and celebrates the stupidity of the youth.
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The US president is not a fan of the trendy app because he believes that TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based tech company ByteDance, is a means for the Chinese government to steal data about America and other countries through its users.
As a result, Trump threatened to ban the app in the US from 15 Sep if it hasn’t been sold.
Now TikTok is doing whatever it can to salvage its business in the US.
TikTok in Partnership with Oracle
Oracle Corp announced on Monday (14 Sep) that they will be partnering ByteDance to keep TikTok operating in the United States, according to Reuters.
TikTok has chosen Oracle instead, an American multinational computer technology corporation.
The deal is more of a partnership than an outright sale, with Oracle taking over TikTok’s operations in the US.
“It makes more sense for Oracle to be a tech partner rather than completely buying TikTok in the US, otherwise Oracle’s culture will encumber TikTok’s development,” said Dong Jielin, a research fellow at Tsinghua University‘s China Institute for Science and Technology Policy.
Since they’re taking over American operations, Oracle will also assume management of TikTok’s US user data, according to Reuters.
However, it’s unclear if this partnership will be enough to appease Trump, as he had demanded an outright sale of the app.
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As mentioned previously, US officials are concerned that user information could be passed to the Chinese government, as America has over 100 million users.
TikTok, however, assured the US government that it would never share its data with Chinese authorities.
Chinese Government Would Rather Shut Down TikTok in US Than Sell it
One of the possible reasons TikTok has chosen a partnership instead of a sale is that the Chinese government has opposed a sale of TikTok’s US operations, believing a forced sale would make them look weak.
Moreover, Bejing recently updated its export control rules last month, which means it now has a say over the transfer of TikTok to a foreign buyer.
Just like Trump, it’s hard to predict how the Chinese authorities will react to a partnership, as it still involves handing over operations to a US-based company.
Fun Fact: Some TikTok Data Stored in Singapore
All this talk about data has people wondering; where is it actually stored?
While its headquarters are in Beijing, Australian general manager Lee Hunter recently claimed Australian users’ data were stored in Singapore, reported Scroll.
TikTok itself claimed that Indian users’ data are stored here as well.
But why Singapore?
ByteDance used to store its TikTok data in Hong Kong, but after a new national security law was passed, it shifted its servers to Singapore.
Concerns about this data being shared with the Chinese government may seem like a conspiracy theory, but many countries are wary of this possibility.
India, for instance, has banned over 59 different Chinese apps, including TikTok, due to perceived threats to national security.
Australia was also reportedly considering banning the app but has since held back, stating that caution should be exercised instead.
As for whether Trump will actually follow through on his threat, we’ll have to wait and see.
While TikTok has ceded its operations to an American company, Trump specifically ordered a sale, and we all know how he behaves when he doesn’t get what he wants.
Read Also: S’pore Might be TikTok’s Parent Company’s New ‘Beachhead’ After the US Threatens to Ban It
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