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TikTok: We are 'committed to becoming a global company'

Zhu Shenshen
ByteDance, parent firm of TikTok, is pushing back against national security concerns from the US as well as alleged unfair competition from Facebook.
Zhu Shenshen

ByteDance, parent firm of TikTok, is committed to becoming a global company despite facing difficulties from the international political environment and unfair competition from Facebook, the Beijing-based company said on Monday. US President Donald Trump has threatened to bar the wildly popular app TikTok in the US, citing national security concerns. ByteDance’s statements came after repeatedly denying the claims.

ByteDance hasn’t decided the final decision on how to deal with the US requests but it’s “in talks with a tech firm” to make a plan, which can meet the requirement for TikTok to continue serving American users, ByteDance’s CEO Zhang Yiming said in an internal letter to company staff. 

“We do not agree with this (US) decision because we have always insisted on ensuring user data security, platform neutrality and transparency,” Zhang said in the letter.

The decision will consider user, team and company, according to Zhang. 

ByteDance is “committed to becoming a global company” but it has faced “all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties,” including the collision and conflict of different cultures, the company said in a separate statement to media. 

ByteDance also mentioned “plagiarism and smear” activities of competitor Facebook, without elaborating details in the Chinese-language statement.

“Fair competition and transparency benefit us all,” Kevin Mayer, CEO of TikTok, said previously. 

 The company will continue increasing investment in China and global markets, it said. Microsoft is currently in talks with Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok to purchase its US operations, following a meeting with President Trump, Microsoft said on Monday. 

ByteDance is also considering to move TikTok’s headquarters to London or other places from the United States, media reported on Monday. 

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