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TikTok CEO resigns, China’s new laws will affect app sales

News - Sep 03, 2020

TikTok CEO Meyer resigned from the position and his interim replacement will be Vanessa Pappas. This came several days after TikTok sued the administration of US president Donald Trump for the decision to prevent this app from operating in the USA.

In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for and it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave the company – announced Meyer.

The app, owned by the Chinese Internet company ByteDance, was ordered by the White House to sell the US business by mid-September.

Trump and other White House officials repeatedly stated that TikTok was a threat to the national security because of its Chinese ownership.

That is why Trump signed the executive order on August 06 on blocking TikTok if ByteDance did not sell the US business within 45 days. A week later, ByteDance was given a 90-day deadline to conclude such a deal.

The White House’s actions forced ByteDance and TikTok to look for a buyer for the US share in that app. Microsoft, Oracle and other bidders are negotiating a potential agreement, with the price ranging between USD20 bn and USD50 bn. However, it is unlikely that the deal will be concluded so quickly.

Therefore, TikTok sued Trump’s administration. The company has recently sued the US government, accusing it of preventing a regular procedure by forcing the sale through the executive order.

According to the Wall Street Journal, China introduced new laws aimed at significant restriction of the rules related to AI technology exports, thus directly affecting the TikTok app.

The ban refers to the export of technologies such as content recommendation, textual analysis and voice recognition, which now requires a special license.

Cui Fan, an adviser of the Chinese government, said on the Chinese national media that ByteDance as the owner of TikTok, has to ‘seriously and carefully’ consider the termination of the TikTok sale negotiations

Once ByteDance no longer has an ownership stake in TikTok, there will certainly be situations with technology transfer where the new rules may be breached.

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