TikTok Responds To Trump: ‘We’re Not Planning On Going Anywhere’


Hours after President Trump announced he was planning to ban TikTok from the U.S., the company responded with a video message on Twitter saying it’s “not planning on going anywhere.”


Along with praising the “millions of Americans who use TikTok everyday,” U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas highlighted the “10,000 jobs” the company is expected to bring to the U.S. over the next three years in the clip posted to Twitter:

On Friday, Trump told reporters on Air Force One he would ban TikTok from the U.S. over its ties to China: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said, adding the announcement could come soon as Saturday.

Trump added he was planning on banning the platform through an executive order or use of his emergency economic powers, though it’s not clear if the president has the power to do so.

The Trump administration has been weighing a ban on TikTok for weeks over national security concerns, and has compared the social media company to other China-based companies Huawei and ZTE, which are also in the White House’s crosshairs.

Earlier last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was “looking” at banning TikTok, warning that Americans who downloaded the app would be putting their “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Reuters reported Saturday that ByteDance had agreed to divest itself completely from its U.S. TikTok operations in an attempt to salvage a deal with the White House.

What to watch for

Microsoft. Fox Business reported Friday that Microsoft was in talks to purchase TikTok from ByteDance, a Chinese-owned company.

Crucial quote

TikTok has attempted to distance itself from its Beijing-based owners, ByteDance. It hired an American CEO and announced an initiative to bring 10,000 people to the U.S. “TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy,” wrote TikTok’s CEO, Kevin Mayer in a blog post this week.

Key background

After Trump announced the ban, some legal experts raised doubts the president could move forward with such a move due to First Amendment rights. “There is absolutely no way the United States is going to ban TikTok because of the First Amendment,” Eva Galperin, director of the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, told Protocol. “Code is speech. TikTok is code.”

Further reading

Trump Says He’ll Ban TikTok As Soon As Saturday (Forbes)

U.S. is ‘looking at’ banning TikTok and Chinese social media apps, Pompeo says (CNBC)

How Trump’s ban of TikTok might actually work — or not (Protocol)

Exclusive: TikTok’s Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal – sources (Reuters)