How will Trump’s deal with ByteDance affect users in the US?

ByteDance is the parent company of TikTok, one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. As of August 2020, TikTok has more than 100 million users in the US. However, in August 2020, the Trump administration ordered a ban in ByteDance’s TikTok from September. 

The primary reason given by Trump for the ban was that the app could provide the Chinese government access to US user data. However, the alternative the Trump administration gave to ByteDance to avoid the ban was to sell the app to a US company. The ban would not only have affected the company, but also other businesses that rely on it, such as James from TikTokFollowing.com.

However, the recent deal changed everything, with Trump saying it would allow TikTok to continue to operate in the US, with certain rules and regulations. 

What’s the New Deal? 

As per the new rules, ByteDance won’t have complete control over TikTok. It will now be owned by a new company called TikTok Global. Its headquarters will be in the US. All the data of the US users will now be stored in the country itself. Oracle Corporation will own a 12.5% stake in the new company, i.e., TikTok Global. Oracle will be responsible for complying with the US national security requirements (related to data). Walmart, the US retail giant, will also own a small stake (7.5%) in the new TikTok Global. 

As per sources who requested to be anonymous, the Trump administration is considering how much of TikTok Global is owned by US companies. As per sources, Oracle, Walmart, and other ByteDance’s US investors will own around 53% of TikTok Global. This means the US will be a majority stakeholder in the newly formed company. This is why Trump agreed to a deal, reversing his order of banning TikTok in the US. 

Besides, TikTok Global will pay more than $5 billion in taxes to the US treasury. Though ByteDance has to give up its control over the app, it’s better than getting it banned completely. TikTok Global will have more American directors, a US chief executive, and a security expert in the board members team. 

What does this mean to the users in the US?

The new deal won’t have a significant effect on the users in the US. The only benefit the US users will enjoy is the increased security of their data. America and India have accused ByteDance’s TikTok of spying on its users and passing personal data to the Chinese government. 

However, post the new deal, all the information of the US users will be kept safe inside the country (in Oracle’s Cloud). Besides, Trump has said that the new deal will involve a $5 billion contribution by the company towards education. 

This means there will be a huge fund for the education of American Youths. So, directly or indirectly, it’s the users’ money (which the company earns through ads and other sources). 

Another benefit of this deal is that influencers that rely on TikTok to earn money won’t have to find new platforms for promoting themselves or the product of the companies they are associated with. 

Why Suddenly a Fuss Around ByteDance’s TikTok?

Officials in the White House fear TikTok could access American users’ data through the app and use it to launch disinformation campaigns or blackmail anyone (including celebrities). Besides, TikTok is facing a class-action lawsuit over allegedly stealing information about American children and sending it to its servers in China. However, the company has denied doing it. In fact, they opened up their source code for experts and journalists to review Trump’s claim on data theft.

Conclusion

The new deal between Trump and ByteDance is beneficial for all the users in the US. First, their data will be stored securely in the US. Second, the company will donate around $5 billion to the education of American youth. 

What do you think about the new deal between Trump and ByteDance? Do you support this new deal? Let us know in the comments. 

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