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ByteDance Denies TikTok Sale Speculations

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Chinese tech juggernaut ByteDance announced that it has no intentions to sell TikTok in response to a new US rule that gave it a deadline to either leave the immensely popular video platform or have it banned in the United States. 

The nine-month restriction was imposed by the US Senate on the pretext of national security. They said that TikTok could be used for propaganda and espionage by the Chinese government as long as ByteDance owned it.

A US technology news outlet reported that ByteDance was considering selling TikTok without its powerful secret algorithm that suggests content to its billion-plus global users. ByteDance denied that it was thinking about selling.

“Foreign media reports about ByteDance exploring the sale of TikTok are untrue,” the company said on Toutiao, a Chinese-language platform, on Thursday.

“ByteDance does not have any plans to sell TikTok.” For years, TikTok has been a sensitive political and diplomatic issue. Former President Donald Trump’s administration first tried, in vain, to outlaw the app.

Additionally, the company has forcefully denied any link to the Chinese government and said it has not and will not share US user data with Beijing.

According to TikTok, the company has invested over $1.5 billion in “Project Texas,” in which US user data would be stored in the United States.

However, critics claim that the data is only a portion of the issue and that ByteDance should be cut off from the TikTok recommendation system, which they claim is the “key element” to their platform’s success.

Although the CEO of TikTok, Mr. Shou Zi Chew, has stated that the firm will challenge the new law in court, some experts think the US Supreme Court may rule that national security concerns will take precedence over protections for free expression.

 

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