ByteDance Would Rather Shutdown TikTok US Over Sale

In a bold move, ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, has indicated it would prefer to shut down the app in the U.S. rather than sell it, should it fail to overturn a recent ban imposed by the U.S. government. This decision follows President Joe Biden’s enactment of legislation on April 24, 2024, which aims to curb potential threats related to data privacy and surveillance purportedly linked to the app’s Chinese origins.

According to four sources cited by Reuters, ByteDance is unlikely to sell TikTok or its assets, including its highly valued algorithm, to any U.S. entity or investment group by the mandated deadline of January 19, 2025. Instead, the company might simply restrict access to TikTok for U.S. residents, reflecting its stance on protecting its operational assets, which are integral to its global strategy.

ByteDance has publicly refuted claims of considering a sale of TikTok, asserting on its platform Toutiao, “Foreign media reports that ByteDance is exploring the sale of TikTok are untrue. ByteDance doesn’t have any plan to sell TikTok.”

Despite TikTok’s significant revenue contributions—constituting about 25% of its overall revenues in 2023 from the U.S.—the app only represents a small fraction (5%) of ByteDance’s total daily active users worldwide. This suggests that a shutdown would be manageable for the company’s global operations.

The controversy around TikTok centers on concerns that the Chinese government could access data from U.S. users or leverage the platform for surveillance purposes. The U.S. has already taken measures to limit TikTok’s presence on federal government devices and in over 30 states.

As the January 2025 deadline approaches, the future of TikTok in the U.S. remains uncertain, with ByteDance committed to challenging what it considers an unconstitutional ban.

Wrapping Up

As this situation develops, TikTok’s potential shutdown in the U.S. could set a significant precedent in the ongoing discussions about data security, national security, and the global operations of tech companies based in China. For the latest updates on this unfolding story, stay tuned to HitPlay.

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