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Engadget

China won’t accept ‘theft’ of TikTok, according to state newspaper


China will by no means accept the “theft” of a Chinese technology company, and it has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab.

Meanwhile, TikTok parent ByteDance told the BBC it was “committed to being a global company,” and that it has been “evaluating the possibility of establishing TikTok’s headquarters outside of the US, to better serve our global users.” The social media app is one of the few originating in China to gain success in the US market. Read More

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Wired

TikTok and the Evolution of Digital Blackface


Editor’s note: As this story—the cover of our September issue—went to press, TikTok’s fate remained uncertain. We’ve updated the story with the latest news.

Everything will change in six days, when George Floyd stops breathing under the knee of a white police officer. But for now, it is May 19, an ordinary day during a global pandemic, and Brianna Blackmon is just waking up in her bedroom in Columbia, South Carolina, where she lives with her boyfriend and their blue-nose pit bull, DJ. Read More

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TechCrunch

What Microsoft should demand in exchange for its ‘payment’ to the US government for TikTok – TechCrunch


In one of the crazier news stories (and in 2020, that is saying something), President Donald Trump said today during a media availability event that in order for the U.S. government to sign off on a potential Microsoft/TikTok deal, “a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States,” based on my colleague Alex Wilhelm’s rough transcript.

That seems nearly impossible to actually execute in reality (corporations don’t just quote-unquote bribe the U.S. government to get their docs signed), but let’s actually take it at face value: Should Microsoft pay, and if so, what should they demand in any bargain with the U.S. government? Read More

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Mashable

With TikTok under attack, Snapchat tests in-snap music

Thanks to a perfectly timed new deal, Snap execs must be whistling a happy tune.

Snap announced Monday that it’s testing a new tool that lets users put their snaps to music. The feature comes thanks to new deals with record labels that let Snapchat users license songs in their Snap creations.

The timing of the announcement is eyebrow-raising. TikTok’s deep integration with music is a central part of the app’s DNA as first a lip-syncing video app, and more recently, a viral dance video app. TikTok has dominated the social media landscape in 2020. But now the federal government is threatening that position, as officials claim TikTok’s Chinese ownership presents a national security threat. President Donald Trump has personally said he wants to “ban” TikTok Read More

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Engadget

Trump says TikTok has until September 15th to sell US operations or close


“[Microsoft] 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 company said in the blog post. If the deal goes through, that would result in Microsoft acquiring TikTok operations not just in the US but also Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Even though TikTok has said that it does not take direction from ByteDance, there have been lingering concerns that TikTok presents a national security threat supposedly by providing American user data to the Chinese government.  Read More

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TechCrunch

Snapchat to take on TikTok with a new music-powered featuring rolling out this fall – TechCrunch


Snapchat is taking aim at TikTok. The company announced today it will begin testing a new feature that lets Snapchat users set their Snaps to music, similar to TikTok’s app. The feature may allow Snapchat to capitalize on the fracturing of the TikTok audience, who have been exploring alternative apps as the Trump administration weighs a ban on Chinese tech companies over data privacy concerns.

Already, apps like Byte, Triller, Dubsmash, Likee, and others have climbed the app stores’ charts as TikTok users hedged their bets. Instagram also launched a music-powered feature called Reels to cater to the TikTok crowd. Read More

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TechCrunch

Chinese internet users brand ByteDance CEO a ‘traitor’ as TikTok seeks US buyer – TechCrunch


ByteDance is not backing down from its ambitions to become a global technology powerhouse, even as TikTok loses its largest market India and faces insurmountable challenges in the US. But some in China are blasting the Beijing-based company as too accommodating and yielding to US demands.

ByteDance said it will “remain committed to our vision to become a globalized company” despite the flurry of challenges thrown at it, it said in a statement posted late Sunday.

Following months of efforts to sway US regulators and the public, TikTok reluctantly arrived at two concessions: “We faced the real possibility of a forced sale of TikTok’s US business by CFIUS or an executive order banning on the TikTok app in the US,” ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming wrote to employees in a letter on Monday. Read More

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VentureBeat

Trump gives Microsoft 45 days to seal TikTok deal


(Reuters) — President Donald Trump only agreed to allow Microsoft to negotiate the acquisition of popular short-video app TikTok if it could secure a deal in 45 days, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The move represents an about-face for Trump and prompted the U.S. tech giant to declare its interest in the blockbuster social media deal that could further inflame U.S.-China relations. Trump said on Friday he was planning to ban TikTok amid concerns that its Chinese ownership represents a national security risk because of the personal data it handles. Read More

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TechCrunch

Pompeo says U.S. may take action against TikTok and other Chinese tech companies “shortly” – TechCrunch


Days after President Donald Trump announced he could use an executive order to ban TikTok from the United States, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the administration is “closing in on a solution and I think you’ll see the president’s announcement shortly.”

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo, Pompeo also said that the Trump administration may take action against other Chinese tech companies doing business in the U.S., claiming that some are “feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party.” Read More

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TechCrunch

Microsoft pursuing TikTok purchase by September 15th, may invite U.S. investors to deal – TechCrunch


Microsoft has posted a statement today on its corporate blog that says it will continue discussions on a potential TikTok purchase in the U.S.. As a part of the statement, it says that it may invite other “American investors” to participate on a minority basis.

The company says that this is a result of conversations between CEO Satya Nadella and President Trump. That is, basically, the ‘news’ here. Previous reports and our own digging pointed to the situation being totally in the hands of the White House, with Microsoft willing to make the buy but having roadblocks in the form of Presidential sentiment. If Satya has engaged Trump directly then there could be light at the end of this possibility tunnel after all. Read More