Is It the End of TikTok?

Natalie Bartelt, staff writer

President Donald Trump announced in early August that he will issue an executive order to ban a huge consumer app, TikTok, if it is not sold by ByteDance, the parent company. But many are wondering, why?

TikTok is a video sharing app that offers a wide selection of sounds and song snippets, along with the option to add special effects and filters. It also allows users to add videos created on their phones and react to other TikToks. Users can create a variety of videos ranging from challenges, dance videos, and comedy sketches. TikTok exploded with popularity in 2018.

Trump claimed that the app is a national security threat because of its Chinese owner, ByteDance. However, TikTok had insisted that they do not share U.S. information with the Chinese government and said, “We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.” 

This event marks the first time that the government has used international emergency powers to ban an app like TikTok with such a large consumer base of more than 800 million users. 

TikTok was given 45 days, now extended to 90 days, to be bought by an American company. This interested Microsoft, but TikTok denied their terms to purchase. If the app is not bought by the end of the deadline, it could be taken off of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. However, the U.S. government does not have the ability to remove apps that have already been downloaded to phones, so if the app is technically taken down, current users should be able to use the app, just with fewer features. That being so, current TikTok users shouldn’t lose hope just yet!