WhatsNew2Day - Latest News And Breaking Headlines
Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

TikTok ‘will open a London HQ in a move approved by ministers’ risking major row with Donald Trump

TikTok will reportedly open a London HQ in a move approved by ministers risking a major row with Donald Trump over the Chinese app.  

The investment is set to be unveiled next week by ByteDance, who own the popular social media platform, as reported by The Sun. 

However the move risks opening up a rift with the US who have accused the company of passing personal data to Chinese government. 

US President Trump said on Friday he would soon ban TikTok in the United States, and critics have claimed users’ personal data could be at risk.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Trump would take action on what he sees as a broad array of national security risks presented by firms connected to the Chinese government. 

Conservative MP Bob Seely told MailOnline this morning that we need to ‘reset’ our relationship with China and warned of ‘covert’ influence from the communist state in the UK.

He said: ‘Clearly we need to continue to attract jobs to the UK, but we need to be careful that China does not start playing us off against the US and other allies.

US President Trump said on Friday he would soon ban TikTok in the United States

US President Trump said on Friday he would soon ban TikTok in the United States

US President Trump said on Friday he would soon ban TikTok in the United States

US President Trump said on Friday he would soon ban TikTok in the United States

US President Trump said on Friday he would soon ban TikTok in the United States

‘This is another example of why we need a reset in our relationship with China that supports trade whilst building up barriers to malign and covert China state influence in the UK. 

‘We also need much clearer investment rules, especially regards to firms that have significant issues over data privacy.’  

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

In 2019, it became the second-most downloaded app globally behind Whatsapp.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok. 

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).

TikTok’s US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access, and its biggest investors come from the US, the company said on Sunday.

Mr Pompeo said: ‘These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat – there are countless more … are feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, their national security apparatus,’ Mr Pompeo told the Fox News Channel.

‘Could be their facial recognition patterns. It could be information about their residence, their phone numbers, their friends, who they’re connected to. Those – those are the issues that President Trump has made clear we’re going to take care of,’ he said.

As speculation grew over a ban or sale of the social media’s US business, TikTok posted a video on Saturday saying: ‘We’re not planning on going anywhere.’ 

‘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,’ a TikTok spokesperson said.   

Microsoft confirmed on Sunday night it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to acquire the US arm of the popular video app.

Microsoft also said it had discussed with Mr Trump his concerns about security and censorship surrounding such an acquisition.

In a statement, Microsoft said it and ByteDance had provided notice of their intent to explore a deal resulting in Microsoft owning and operating the TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  

President Donald Trump is understood to have agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate the sale of TikTok to Microsoft, sources said.

‘Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,’ the Microsoft statement said. 

Its parent company, Bytedance Ltd, launched TikTok in 2017. It bought Musical.ly, a video service popular with teens in the US and Europe, and combined the two. It has a similar service, Douyin, for users in China.

But TikTok’s Chinese ownership has raised concern about the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials as well as censorship of videos critical of the Chinese government.

TikTok says it does not censor videos and it would not give the Chinese government access to US user data.

The TikTok office in Culver City. US President Trump has said he would ban the company from the US

The TikTok office in Culver City. US President Trump has said he would ban the company from the US

The TikTok office in Culver City. US President Trump has said he would ban the company from the US

‘The President, when he makes his decision, will make sure that everything we have done drives us as close to zero risk for the American people,’ Mr Pompeo said.

‘That’s the mission set that he laid out for all of us when we get – we began to evaluate this now several months back. We’re closing in on a solution. And I think you will see the president’s announcement shortly.’

The debate over TikTok parallels a broader US security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE.

HOW DOES TIKTOK WORK? 

  • Users post videos of themselves and broadcast them on the app
  • Anyone can find these videos and post comments on them; it also allows you to message that person privately
  • Some of the most popular videos are watched more than 10 million times
  • Each TikTok video is generally 15 to 60 seconds long
  • The videos are typically set to music, often showing the user dancing, doing a trick, or lip-syncing

The Trump administration has ordered that the US stop buying equipment from those providers to be used in US networks.

Mr Trump has also tried to steer allies away from Huawei over concerns the Chinese government has access to its data, which Huawei denies.

Earlier this week TikTok pushed back at what it called ‘maligning attacks’ that call attention to the video app’s Chinese connections.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said the attacks were ‘disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the U.S.’

‘We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda — our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy,’ Mayer said.

‘TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy.’

I’We’re not planning on going anywhere,’ said Vanessa Pappas in a video address on TikTok. ‘When it comes to safety and security we’re building the safest app because it’s the right thing to do.’

‘We are so proud of all the various communities who call TikTok home,’ Pappas said, urging the app’s millions of users to ‘stand for TikTok.’

Pappas claimed that the app employs 15,000 people in America, and plans to add an additional 10,000 jobs in the coming years. 

'We're not planning on going anywhere,' said Vanessa Pappas, US general manager of TikTok, in a video address on the service

'We're not planning on going anywhere,' said Vanessa Pappas, US general manager of TikTok, in a video address on the service

'We're not planning on going anywhere,' said Vanessa Pappas, US general manager of TikTok, in a video address on the service

'We're not planning on going anywhere,' said Vanessa Pappas, US general manager of TikTok, in a video address on the service

‘We’re not planning on going anywhere,’ said Vanessa Pappas, US general manager of TikTok, in a video address on the service

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies. 

It comes as a leading expert said the banning of the app in Australia is ‘inevitable’.

Professor Clive Hamilton told Daily Mail Australia the Communist Party uses the app to keep tabs on anyone who criticises the totalitarian regime.

He fears that users’ personal data is likely being sent to Beijing.

‘Chinese authorities are already monitoring TikTok usage particularly for people who are of interest,’ he said.

‘That creates a real problem for freedom of expression and for the protection of intrusion from the Chinese State.’

The Australian Defence Force already banned its personnel from downloading the app on their phone earlier this year and it now appears likely a blanket ban will go into action for all Australians.

‘I expect the Australian government to take a lot of interest in TikTok and the way the Chinese regime is using TikTok to monitor people in the west,’ Prof Hamilton said.

‘I think it is only a matter of time before western governments realise the extent of surveillance that Beijing has undertaken through social media platforms including TikTok.

‘I think the banning of TikTok is inevitable.’ 

Trump gives TikTok 45 days to negotiate sale of its US arm to Microsoft after his total ban threat and tells Seattle tech giant’s CEO he will only ‘allow’ purchase if app totally splits from China

by Lauren Fruen for DailyMail.com 

President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate the sale of TikTok to Microsoft, sources said Sunday. 

Microsoft Corp said on Sunday that it would continue discussions to acquire the popular short-video app from Chinese internet giant ByteDance. The president had threatened to ban TikTok as early as Saturday but is now said to be willing to ‘allow’ its sale if the app completely separates from China, Axios reports. 

Washington based tech giant Microsoft made the statement following a conversation between its CEO Satya Nadella and Trump. It said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and will remain in the United States.

Over the last several months, US officials have repeatedly said TikTok under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software firm ByteDance, poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. The White House and ByteDance did not immediately comment on the Microsoft statement Sunday.

Donald Trump, pictured Saturday, had threatened to ban TikTok in the US. Microsoft confirmed Sunday it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok and has discussed with President Donald Trump his concerns about security and censorship surrounding such an acquisition

Donald Trump, pictured Saturday, had threatened to ban TikTok in the US. Microsoft confirmed Sunday it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok and has discussed with President Donald Trump his concerns about security and censorship surrounding such an acquisition

Donald Trump, pictured Saturday, had threatened to ban TikTok in the US. Microsoft confirmed Sunday it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok and has discussed with President Donald Trump his concerns about security and censorship surrounding such an acquisition

‘Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,’ Microsoft said in a statement.

The Seattle based tech giant added that there was no certainty a deal – which could be worth billions of dollars – would be reached but that it was aiming to conclude the negotiations by September 15.   

ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the US business of TikTok, a proposal which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the United States, sources said Saturday.

In a statement Sunday, Microsoft said: ‘Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States. 

Trump and CEO Satya Nadella, pictured, have spoken, the company said, and Microsoft was prepared to continue exploring the purchase of TikTok’s U.S. operations after their chat

Trump and CEO Satya Nadella, pictured, have spoken, the company said, and Microsoft was prepared to continue exploring the purchase of TikTok’s U.S. operations after their chat

Trump and CEO Satya Nadella, pictured, have spoken, the company said, and Microsoft was prepared to continue exploring the purchase of TikTok’s U.S. operations after their chat

It adds: ‘The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets.

‘Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.’ 

It was not immediately clear what changed Trump’s mind. Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the president will take action shortly on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Beijing government, posing a risk to U.S. national security

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the president will take action shortly on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Beijing government, posing a risk to U.S. national security

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the president will take action shortly on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Beijing government, posing a risk to U.S. national security

The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. 

TikTok’s U.S. general manager, Vanessa Pappas, said Saturday: ‘We’re not planning on going anywhere. When it comes to safety and security we’re building the safest app because it’s the right thing to do.’

‘We are so proud of all the various communities who call TikTok home,’ Pappas said, urging the app’s millions of users to ‘stand for TikTok.’

Pappas claimed that the app employs 15,000 people in America, and plans to add an additional 10,000 jobs in the coming years. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier on Sunday that the president will take action shortly on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Beijing government, posing a risk to U.S. national security.

‘President Trump has said ‘enough’ and we’re going to fix it and so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party,’ Pompeo said on Fox News Channel’s ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’  

‘They’re true privacy issues for the American people and for a long time, a long time the United States just said ‘well goodness if we’re having fun with it, or if a company can make money off of it, we’re going to permit that to happen,’ Pompeo said Sunday. 

ByteDance said it was willing to divest the US operations of TikTok to Microsoft in a bid to make a deal with the White House, two people familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Saturday. 

The Microsoft offer has gained some support from allies of the president, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. 

The senator on Saturday defended the president’s decision to take action against the popular video-sharing app, which officials claim poses a national security risk because of the personal data it handles.

Graham however, said he was in favor of an American company acquiring TikTok’s U.S. operations, rather than banning the app completely. 

‘To fans and users of#TikTok. I understand your concerns. However President Trump is right to want to make sure that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t own TikTok and most importantly – all of your private data,’ the senator tweeted. 

‘What’s the right answer? Have an American company like Microsoft take over TikTok. Win-win. Keeps competition alive and data out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.’ 

In a separate interview on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews the national security implications of foreign business deals, is looking at the matter.

The number of American users has been estimated to be as high as 80 million a month – although because the company is not publicly traded, the estimate by outside analysts is impossible to verify.

The platform took the world by storm in 2017, which allows users to create original videos that are shared in the app for millions to see.  

The move comes after Joe Biden’s presidential campaign banned staffers from using the Chinese video sharing app, citing security and privacy concerns.

In a memo on Monday, Biden’s general counsel, Dana Remus, ordered staff members to delete TikTok from both their personal and work phones, and to ‘refrain from downloading and using TikTok,’ according to Bloomberg.

Earlier this week TikTok pushed back at what it called ‘maligning attacks’ that call attention to the video app’s Chinese connections – a coded reference to the inquiry.  

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said the attacks were ‘disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the U.S.’

‘We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda — our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy,’ Mayer said.

‘TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy.’

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

 ByteDance has been considering a range of options for TikTok amid U.S. pressure to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers.

ByteDance did not seek approval for the acquisition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security risks. Reuters reported last year that CFIUS had opened an investigation into TikTok. 

Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $620 million after being ordered by CFIUS to divest.

In 2018, CFIUS forced China’s Ant Financial to scrap plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc over concerns about the safety of data that could identify U.S. citizens.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile, sold a small stake in a private deal, Reuters has reported. The startup’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

The bulk of ByteDance’s revenue comes from advertising on apps under its Chinese operations including Douyin – a Chinese version of TikTok – and news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao, as well as video-streaming app Xigua and Pipixia, an app for jokes and humorous videos. 

.