February 26, 2021

Bytedance: ByteDance CEO ‘working additional time’ to plot TikTok resolution

By Zheping Huang

ByteDance Ltd. is exploring all prospects to resolve an intensifying confrontation with Washington, Chief Govt Officer Zhang Yiming stated, stressing the world’s largest startup has made no last resolution on choices like a sale of TikTok U.S. to Microsoft Corp.

Beijing-based ByteDance has come underneath stress from the White Home and U.S. lawmakers to dump its U.S. TikTok operations and now has a 45-day deadline on negotiations with Microsoft over such a deal. The corporate had tried to appease regulators — who fear about its knowledge assortment and potential connection to the Chinese language authorities — by distancing its home operations from the favored video app, hiring almost a thousand employees within the U.S. and appointing Walt Disney Co. veteran Kevin Mayer as TikTok CEO. However Zhang stated efforts thus far to assuage Washington’s considerations could have fallen brief.

“The present geopolitical and public opinion atmosphere is turning into an increasing number of complicated. We face nice exterior stress in some markets,” the founder instructed workers in an inside memo. “Our staff in response has been working across the clock and additional time up to now few weeks to try for the most effective final result.”

As TikTok surged to world reputation, American officers started calling for a nationwide safety investigation into the app. The Committee on International Funding in america, or CFIUS, which investigates abroad acquisitions of U.S. companies, final 12 months opened a overview of the Musical.ly buy that led to TikTok’s creation.

“Regardless that we’ve repeatedly careworn that we’re a privately-run enterprise, and regardless of our willingness to undertake much more technical options to allay their considerations, CFIUS nonetheless believes ByteDance has to promote the TikTok U.S. operation. We don’t agree with this resolution,” Zhang wrote. “We’ve at all times firmly protected the safety of customers’ knowledge, the platform’s independence and transparency.”

Acknowledging that ByteDance is in negotiations with one other tech agency, with out naming Microsoft straight, the CEO wrote that the corporate continues to be engaged in inside discussions and no last choices have been made. “The eye of the surface world and rumors round TikTok may final for some time,” Zhang stated.