The issue of the TikTok application has interacted greatly during the past few days. After the Chinese company that owns the application rejected Microsoft's offer to buy it, a partnership deal with Oracle appeared on the horizon.
Will this deal be the last chapter in this crisis, or does it show other complications, and what are the reactions of both sides?
ByteDance's rejection of an offer from Microsoft to buy its activities in the United States confirms what was reported by Reuters a few days before China opposes the compulsory sale of TikTok operations in the United States.
ByteDance confirmed that it would prefer to close the application instead, and on August 6, President Donald Trump issued an executive order prohibiting the use of the application in the United States for reasons of US national security.
Al-Jazeera Net spoke with Engineer Elias Farhard, a cybersecurity expert at LEIDOS, one of the largest technology companies contracting with US government agencies, about the TikTok application crisis.
"There are several factors behind the US decision, which has the support of technology companies, some of which are actually related to national security concerns, and some of them are related to the pressure of American technology companies themselves," Farhard said.
China and the United States are putting pressure on technology companies in both countries (Getty Images)
Security concerns have been compounded by Tik Tok penetration of many famous American applications, as it has become widely known to publish Tik Tok videos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms, which gives the Chinese company huge data that is easily used by artificial intelligence mechanisms to draw detailed profiles of American users.
"There are 100 million US users for this application, and this provides a very large ad space that results in billions of dollars in financial gains, and there are some reports indicating that Americans download more than 130 million short videos per week," Varhard says.
Farhard added that "most of these videos are trivial in their content and do not contain any serious content, but the danger comes from the Chinese police recording and saving the data of users who are predominantly young and the absence of the necessary expertise to pay attention to privacy, and its implications."
Politicians in Washington fear that the Chinese government may track millions of American teenagers who use the app through the company's data servers stored in China.
The absence of videos showing clips of protests by Hong Kong residents opposing the Chinese government last November, reinforced US suspicions about the Chinese government's policy of controlling the content of TikTok.
Tik Tok application used by 100 million Americans, the majority of whom are teenagers (Reuters)
Al Jazeera Net spoke with Graham Phillip - a 13-year-old American boy who uses the application - who said, "Me and my friends in middle school in Montgomery County, Maryland, use TikTok a lot, it is very simple, fun and entertaining, and I don't know much about the topic of privacy, what I know that I am I can easily cancel the application at any time. "
While TikTok can reach millions of American teenagers, the Chinese government does not grant US competitors such as Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp the same freedom of action that the United States provides to Chinese companies and others.
"We do not know what happens with the user data for the application, and it cannot be asserted that the owner company is independent of China and its ruling Communist Party, we are talking about a politically communist state, and it does not allow similar US applications to operate freely in China," Farhard said in his speech to Al Jazeera Net.
For its part, the company that owns Tik Tok has challenged the court case against the presidential executive order, and it relies on the merits of its position on several points, including:
- That the presidential executive order contradicts and infringes the first constitutional amendment on freedom of expression.
- The company already employs 1500 Americans working in the United States, in addition to others working in China, and the company intends to employ 10 thousand Americans in California, Texas, New York and other states.
- That the decision violates the rules of freedom of the market and freedom of competition advocated by the United States around the world.
Oracle appeared in the partnership deal after Microsoft failed to reach a sale that satisfies ByteDance (Reuters)
Failure may be the theme of the talks that the Chinese company ByteDance is conducting with American technology giants to acquire the application, before the expiration of the period granted by US President Donald Trump on September 20, to sell the application to an American company or face the ban, due to concerns "related to national security." American".
Experts believe that some Chinese companies, such as ByteDance, may be affected by the revised regulations announced by China for technologies that are subject to export bans or restrictions, which means that the company may have to obtain a license from the government to proceed with selling Tik Toks to an American company.
This is what Tsui Fan, a professor of international trade at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing sees, asserting that the newly added Article 21 "Technology of Personalized Information Payment Service Based on Data Analysis" and Article 18 on "Artificial Intelligence Interactive Interface Technology" may be related. With ByteDance.
Earlier, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China reserves the right to take the necessary measures to protect the rights and interests of Chinese companies, noting that the US attempt to use "economic bullying and political manipulation against non-American companies is governmental coercion treatment, which is tantamount to gaining through fraudulent means or by force." ".
America and China are grappling with trade and economy ... and technology is the victim (Getty Images)
Zhang Yiming, founding global CEO of ByteDance, announced that the company is moving quickly to find solutions to the issues it faces globally.
"I can assure you that we are developing solutions that will be in the interest of users, creators, partners and employees," he said, explaining that he is doing his best to protect TikTok, which he considers the most important trump card to achieve global strategic planning.
According to data published by "Reuters", the revenue of "TikTok" for the year 2020 is expected to reach one billion dollars, which represents about 3.5% of the total revenue targeted for "ByteDance".
Followers on social media see that the status Tik Tok has reached in the United States has prompted similar applications to restrict it after it failed to replicate its model.
According to analytical data, TikTok was among the top 5 most downloaded applications in the world for 2020.
Reporter Wang Jiayi told Al Jazeera Net that Tik Tok is an essential means of creative expression, and it is important for American youth to nurture their personality, and it is also a source of livelihood for some others, "In this way, the United States has already cut off the vital lifeline of the young group, for political purposes."
Tik Tok enjoys popularity abroad no less than the popularity of the native version of "Duen" in China, which, by the end of April 2020, achieved global downloads exceeding two billion times, with a monthly activity of 1.5 billion, covering 150 countries and regions in 75 languages.
But observers believe that the goal set by the founding global CEO of ByteDance, for half of its users to come from abroad by 2021, is facing a great challenge in light of indications that it has lost the US market.