America can carry on TikToking after all, with the video-sharing app’s proposed partnership with US software company Oracle and retailer Walmart set to be cleared by the US government.
Downloads of the TikTok app were due to be suspended from tonight (September 20) but are now cleared to continue for at least another week after President Donald Trump gave his blessing in principle to the proposed deal. Trump had previously ordered TikTok’s US company be sold or banned over concerns over the security of users’ data. The deal will still need formal approval, but the threat of TikTok ceasing to operate Stateside seems to be receding.
Interim head of TikTok, Vanessa Pappas – running the social media company after the sudden resignation of Kevin Mayer – gave the following statement: “We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the US administration and settle questions around TikTok's future in the US.
“As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all US user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied. We are currently working with Walmart on a commercial partnership as well. Both companies will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand TikTok Global's headquarters in the US, while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.
“TikTok has won the hearts of hundreds of millions of people around the world, including 100 million Americans, because it's a home for entertainment, connection, and expression. We're delighted that the individuals who've turned their creativity on TikTok into thriving careers, the small businesses using TikTok to reach customers during the pandemic, and the families who've found joy and connection through our platform will be able to use TikTok for many years to come.
“Our team works tirelessly to provide a safe and inclusive platform and we're thrilled that we will be able to continue serving our amazingly diverse and creative community.”
#WeAreTikTok and we are here to stay! pic.twitter.com/AaA8OhpvGx— TikTok (@tiktok_us) September 19, 2020
TikTok’s UK operations will be unaffected by the deal. Another Chinese-owned app, Tencent-owned WeChat is still set to be banned from tonight.
TikTok is shortlisted in the Music Consumer Innovation category at the 2020 Music Week Awards.
* To read our recent Music Week cover story on TikTok, click here. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.