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ByteDance promises legal challenge of TikTok legislation, refusal to sell social media app

Rebecca Barnabi
TikTok
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In response to United States legislation banning TikTok if parent company ByteDance does not sell the social media app, the parent company said it will not sell.

ByteDance, a Chinese-based company subject to the whims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), prefers to shut down the app in the U.S. after exhausting legal options, Reuters reported Friday.

Although TikTok is a small share of the parent company’s total revenue, TikTok’s algorithms are considered core to ByteDance’s operations worldwide. A shutdown of the app in the U.S. limits impact on ByteDance’s business and allows it to keep the core algorithms.

ByteDance posted on media platform Toutiao on Thursday that it did not have plans to sell TikTok. When Reuters asked for comment, a TikTok spokesperson referred to the statement on Toutiao.

On Wednesday, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said that TikTok expects to win a legal challenge to block the American legislation. TikTok has 170 million subscribers in the U.S.

The American legislation is necessary following concern by lawmakers that China could access American data or use TikTok for surveillance of Americans. President Joe Biden’s signature on the legislation requires that TikTok be sold by January 19, 2025. Biden would have an option of extending the deadline by three months if ByteDance shows progress.

In 2023, ByteDance’s revenues rose to nearly $120 billion from $80 billion in 2022, according to Reuters sources.

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.