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TikTok: US general manager Pappas says app 'here for the long run'

August 2, 2020 12:00 pm
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. [Source: BBC]

The US general manager of TikTok has said the Chinese-owned video-sharing app is “here for the long run”, after President Donald Trump said he would ban it in the US.

Vanessa Pappas told TikTok users in a video statement that its staff were building “the safest app”.

Mr Trump said he could soon sign an executive order, amid concerns the app could be used to collect Americans’ personal data.

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TikTok denies any Chinese control.

The fast-growing app has up to 80 million active monthly users in the US and the ban would be a major blow for the Chinese firm ByteDance which owns it.

It was not immediately clear what authority Mr Trump has to ban TikTok, how that ban would be enforced and what legal challenges it would face.

Reuters news agency reported on Saturday that ByteDance had agreed to completely divest TikTok’s US operations. Previously the Chinese company had sought to keep a minority stake, with Microsoft reportedly in talks to buy the app.

But sources quoted by Reuters said ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the US.

The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

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