UPDATE: September 20, 2020, at 1:35 p.m. ET— Crisis averted? Mega-popular app TikTok was set to be “deplatformed” at midnight tonight, disappearing from the Apple App Store and other online markets, but it looks like that won’t happen after all. Why? TikTok Global.
What’s that? Tech giant Oracle and Walmart are partnering to form a new company that will be headquartered in the U.S. to host the user data generated by American TikTok users. “I have given the deal my blessing,” said President Donald Trump, according to NPR. “I approve the deal in concept.”
Still, ByteDance, the Chinese company that currently owns TikTok, will remain the majority shareholder under the new arrangement. It’s unclear how, exactly, the relationship between the two companies will work, and whether or not this will even address Trump’s concern for Americans’ user data. But for now at least, it’s good news for TikTok devotees.
ORIGINAL STORY: September 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. ET—
Brace yourselves, TikTok fans and users: The popular video-sharing platform is once again in jeopardy here in the United States.
A new report from Reuters cites three government officials who say that President Donald Trump and the Department of Commerce will issue an order on Friday, September 18, which will “bar people in the United States from downloading Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok.”
According to Reuters, this means the Commerce Department order will “‘deplatform’ the two apps in the United States and bar Apple Inc.’s app store, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Play, and others from offering the apps on any platform.”
The outlet reports that there still is a chance the order will be rescinded. That’s because of the possibility that ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, may still reach an agreement to sell off its U.S. operations.
In case you’ve been too busy falling down a rabbit hole of TikTok videos and not following this story, here’s the gist: Back in August, President Trump said, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States. I have that authority….” He said he might invoke the Emergency Economic Powers Act to ban the app because of national security concerns—TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and some have expressed concern about data being available to the Chinese government.
That ban did not in fact come to fruition, but the drama continues. Microsoft was reportedly in talks to buy the U.S. arm of TikTok, but that fell through. However, Reuters notes Oracle Group and others are still talking to ByteDance about creating “a new company, TikTok Global, that aims to address U.S. concerns about the security of its users’ data.”
“We have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Reuters in a statement.
Basically, if you don’t already have TikTok downloaded, you might want to do that ASAP and keep an eye on this ever-evolving social media situation.
Originally Appeared on Glamour