The iScream Social Media Blog

TikTok Closes in on Deal to Keep US Data Private

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Remember back in 2020 when President Trump said that TikTok would be banned in the US, sparking an outpouring of emotions from the app’s users, and a major surge in downloads of alternate video apps? The primary reason behind the ban is that the Trump administration was concerned about potential spying by the Chinese Government since all data for the app is stored in China. Did I say “is”? I meant to say “was”. Well, it will soon be “was”.

What I’m trying to say is that according to Reuters, TikTok is nearing a deal for Oracle to store its US user information, which would separate the platform’s US and Chinese databases, essentially siloing US user information away from other regions.

This would help to address ongoing concerns about TikTok’s Chinese roots, with parent company ByteDance still beholden to China’s strict cybersecurity laws, which require it to share user information with the CCP on request.

Back when the US government was threatening to cut TikTok off entirely in the US, various companies moved in to acquire the US arm of the company, with Oracle eventually getting close to buying the app outright. This never happened as the push to ban the app was abandoned by the Biden administration.

But if there are no plans to ban TikTok in the US, why is this still a big deal? Well, concerns still linger about the potential for TikTok to share US user information with Chinese authorities. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further stoked those fears, with China backing Russia’s action, which pits the world’s military superpowers against each other, and once again raises concerns that China could view the US in a directly adversarial way. As such, while the main push to separate TikTok from Chinese ownership has subsided, there is still an underlying movement to address the issue.

At the end of the day, it is important to know that TikTok is a social media business first, not a spy for the Chinese government, so they are going to make decisions that will help them continue to grow. It only took TikTok 45 months to go from 54 million users in January 2018 to 1 billion users in September 2021. That is the fastest growth of any other social media platform.

This arrangement is not yet official, but it would help garner more trust with their American user base, thus helping with their ongoing growth plans. If you’re interested in utilizing one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or call us at 305-455-0720.