Trump to Shut off TikTok, WeChat to New U.S. Users on Sunday | Top News

Elva Mankin

By David Shepardson, Echo Wang and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night, a move that will block Americans from downloading the Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat.

The bans, announced on Friday, affect only new downloads and updates and are less sweeping than expected, particularly for TikTok, giving its parent group ByteDance some breathing space to clinch an agreement over the fate of its U.S. operations.

WeChat, an all-in-one messaging, social media and electronic payment app, faces more severe restrictions from Sunday. Existing TikTok users, on the other hand, will see little change until Nov. 12 when a ban on some technical transactions will kick in, which TikTok said would amount to an effective ban. For a Q&A on the real impact, click

“We disagree with the decision from the

Read More

Report: Oracle’s proposed TikTok deal includes search for backdoors

Elva Mankin

  • TikTok and Oracle are having to convince the Trump administration their proposed deal will keep data secure.
  • A source told Axios one condition of the deal is that Oracle will have to audit TikTok’s source code to make sure there aren’t any security backdoors.
  • TikTok’s source code and particularly its recommendation algorithm have become a sore point in negotiations after China imposed strict new technology export laws at the end of last month.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Oracle’s TikTok deal might mean the US tech giant gets to turn the video apps source code inside-out.

A source close to TikTok and Oracle told Axios the companies’ deal — which currently under review by the US government — includes the stipulation that Oracle will examine TikTok’s source code to make sure there aren’t any backdoors. Backdoors are technical vulnerabilities deliberately left in software so that hackers can break

Read More

Only 2 companies should buy TikTok, and Oracle isn’t one of them

Elva Mankin

As if Microsoft’s interest in buying TikTok wasn’t strange enough, reports this week suggested enterprise-focused database and cloud giant Oracle was planning to enter the fray. A broad view of the situation, however, reveals only two logical candidates: Facebook and Google.

Microsoft emerged as a surprise TikTok suitor earlier this month after U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order giving ByteDance — TikTok’s parent company — 45 days to sell its U.S. business. The president later extended the deadline to 90 days. Trump claimed that TikTok could hoover up data on U.S. users and share it with the government in China, where ByteDance is based. He threatened to ban TikTok unless Microsoft or another “very American” company stepped in to buy it.

This is why Oracle — whose cofounder and chair Larry Ellison has ties to Trump — could be preparing to bid on TikTok’s U.S. business, which has

Read More

Teachers drop viral music video set to trendy TikTok song ahead of online school year

Elva Mankin

teachers from Georgia “tapped in” to welcome students back to the new normal of online learning amid the ongoing pandemic with a rap video that has quickly captured everyone’s attention on the internet.” data-reactid=”12″Two teachers from Georgia “tapped in” to welcome students back to the new normal of online learning amid the ongoing pandemic with a rap video that has quickly captured everyone’s attention on the internet.

Audrianna Williams and Callie Evans showed off their impressive rapping and dance skills with original lyrics set to the tune of Jack Harlow’s “What’s Poppin'” to get students excited about the start of this unique school year.

The two Monroe Comprehensive High School teachers in Albany, Georgia, enlisted the professional help of Jamel Overstreet to shoot, produce and edit the music video that has garnered over 13,000 views on Instagram in just two days.

“It was very fun, they are both so

Read More

Trump’s TikTok and WeChat Ban Could Backfire Inside China

Elva Mankin

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

HONG KONG—As Donald Trump moves to ban transactions with WeChat and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, people in China are wondering if they’ll need to ditch their iPhones to keep their favorite app, and noting that the White House’s splinternet rhetoric is straight out of Beijing’s own playbook. 

Trump’s moves against ByteDance and Tencent’s WeChat strike at two tech companies deeply entrenched in China’s social life—and, in WeChat’s case, critical to the consumer reach of American companies inside China. 

ByteDance’s TikTok, the popular short video platform that in the past weeks was in the crosshairs of Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has been one of the most downloaded apps globally for two years—even though TikTok cannot be used in China legally due to its home country’s fractured internet governance policy.  And WeChat, a “super app” that blends messaging, social network

Read More

Editorial: The TikTok ownership dance

Elva Mankin

Worries about the TikTok app's data collection could be eased if the Chinese-owned app was sold to Microsoft or another U.S. company. But American companies are ravenous collectors of user data too. <span class="copyright">(Getty Images)</span>
Worries about the TikTok app’s data collection could be eased if the Chinese-owned app was sold to Microsoft or another U.S. company. But American companies are ravenous collectors of user data too. (Getty Images)

Even before President Trump signed an executive order that could soon smother social network TikTok, Microsoft emerged as a potential savior for the U.S.-based but Chinese-owned video snacking service. Now, Twitter and several investment companies are also reportedly talking to TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, about possibly taking over the social network and keeping it going.

That may seem like sweet blessed relief to the network’s estimated 100 million active U.S. users and especially the entrepreneurs who have made a career out of TikTok videos. But while new, non-Chinese ownership would remove some privacy and security concerns, it would also highlight the weaknesses in U.S. law and the ongoing vulnerability of smartphone app users.

Invoking powers granted by

Read More

TikTok grab could extend — or undermine — US online dominance

Elva Mankin

A tie-up of TikTok with Microsoft could extend American dominance of the online and social media world. But it may have some unintended, negative consequences too for US firms and the open internet.

The deal being negotiated with the administration of President Donald Trump would carve out parts of the popular video app for Microsoft, which would gain a foothold in the fast-growing, youth-focused social media environment and join the ranks of rivals like Facebook.

Such a deal “would strengthen American preeminence in technology by moving a major consumer product from Chinese ownership,” said Darrell West, director of the center for technology innovation at the Brookings Institution. 

“But it also could encourage data nationalism by fueling calls in many nations for local control over internet platforms and data storage within their own national borders.”

Other analysts said the deal could have far-reaching effects for the idea of an open internet,

Read More

Facebook founder sees wealth hit $100bn after TikTok rival launch

Elva Mankin

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has seen his personal wealth rise to $100bn (£76bn) after the launch of a new short-form video feature.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced the US rollout of Instagram Reels, its rival to controversial Chinese app TikTok.

Facebook shares rose by more than 6% on Thursday. Mr Zuckerberg holds a 13% stake in the company.

He joins Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates in the exclusive so-called ‘Centibillionaire Club’.

Technology bosses have been in the spotlight recently as the size and power of their companies and their personal fortunes continue to grow.

Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google have been among the biggest benefactors of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions as more people shop, watch entertainment and socialise online.

Mr Zuckerberg’s personal wealth has gained about $22bn this year, while Mr Bezos’s has grown by more than $75bn, according to Bloomberg.

TikTok executive order

The short-form video feature

Read More

Meet Zhang Yiming, the secretive Chinese billionaire behind TikTok who made over $12 billion in 2018 and called Trump’s demands to sell the app ‘unreasonable’

Elva Mankin

ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming makes his own TikToks — and requires his senior employees to as well.
ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming makes his own TikToks — and requires his senior employees to as well.

Visual China Group via Getty Images; Ruobing Su/Business Insider

  • Zhang Yiming built a $16.2 billion fortune after founding ByteDance, the Chinese software developer behind TikTok.

  • Despite being one of the wealthiest people in China, Zhang is extremely private and little is known about his personal life.

  • TikTok is currently in negotiations to sell its US operations to Microsoft amid a threat of a ban from President Trump, sparking fierce criticism of Yiming on Chinese social media.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The widespread popularity of TikTok has not just created a new generation of social media stars, it’s also created a social media billionaire.

Zhang Yiming, the 36-year-old software engineer who founded the app’s parent company, now has a net worth of $16.2 billion, Forbes estimates. Despite being one of the

Read More

There is still no proof TikTok is spying on you for China

Elva Mankin

TikTok, the app beloved by Generation Z, might get booted out of the US.
TikTok, the app beloved by Generation Z, might get booted out of the US.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

  • The Trump administration is forcing TikTok to sell off its US business by September 15 or else face a ban, accusing it of posing a privacy and national security threat because it is owned by a Chinese company.

  • The administration has explicitly claimed TikTok spies on people but has never offered public evidence.

  • Experts diving through TikTok’s code and policies say the app collects user data in a similar way to Facebook and other popular social apps.

  • Google and Facebook by comparison almost certainly hoover up more user data than TikTok through their sprawling number of apps and services — but get less US political scrutiny on privacy.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

TikTok, the video-sharing app whose meteoric rise amongst teenage users has made it a challenger to the likes

Read More