Get out, TikTok

“Get out, TikTok!”. This is what the United States is wanting by approving a bill which requires the social network to be sold. If this does not happen, the platform will have to leave the US
23 de maio de 2024 em TINO In English
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At the end of april American President Joe Biden, sanctioned a bill approved by the country’s Congress which aimed to protect North-Americans from apps controlled by adversary nations, more specifically, China.

With the approval, ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has nine months (time which can be extended to a year) to sell its operation to an American company – or the app will be banned from the country.

The justification given for approval is concern with national security. Many US politicians believe that ByteDance may be forced to share US user data with the Chinese government, which requires its companies, upon request, to report data related to national security.

Who could be the new owner?

With 170 million users in the US, ByteDance is a privately held company and has an estimated market value of 268 billion dollars (1.3 trillion reais). The value of the North American part is valued between 40 billion (204 billion reais) and 50 billion dollars (256 billion reais), according to information from the Bloomberg news agency.

Considering this value, who could buy it? Alphabet, Google’s owner, and Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, might seem to be the obvious candidates. However it is unlikely that the deal would come through with one of them, due to competition and antitrust laws. Another candidate would be Oracle, which already stores data from the network users in the US. Oracle, however, is in debt after another acquisition and is very unlikely to take on one more bill to pay.

In an attempt to reverse the situation, Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s CEO, called on North American users to speak out to protect their right to freedom of expression. “Make your voice heard,” he said in a video posted on the social network X.

Sources: O Globo, Bloomberg, Exame and Meio BIT.

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