TikTok Odds Of Being Banned In The US Revealed And It’s Mind-Blowing
Wedbush analysts give TikTok a 90 percent chance of being banned in the United States, with the company only having two very limited options moving forward to prevent disaster.
In light of TikTok CEO, Shou Chew’s, recent congressional hearing, it seems as if a nationwide ban of the popular social media platform is imminent, according to Business Insider. In a bipartisan effort to get TikTok banned from the United States for its questionable privacy practices, an ultimatum has been made, with Wedbush analysts saying there’s a 90 percent chance of a ban taking place. The conditions are simple: TikTok will have to go through an initial public offering (IPO), or sell itself to a mega-cap tech company to avoid the ban in question.
As things currently stand, there is a 90 percent chance that TikTok will be banned in the United States if these conditions are not met. Though TikTok’s highly addictive algorithm is a major source of concern, the most glaring of issues involves TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and its connection to the Chinese government. The potential ban in question is out of fear that the Chinese government has access to the data of over 150 million Americans who use the service.
In response to the privacy concerns, Chew presented his case for “Project Texas,” a $1.5 billion initiative that would move all data from users in the United States to a US-based server operated by Oracle. Though Project Texas should be a cogent enough solution to the looming and legitimate privacy concerns, the problem is that this solution would take several months to fully implement, which isn’t soon enough for those questioning the TikTok CEO. While moving user data to a US-based server will protect US citizens under US law, there is still worry that their data has been in the hands of the Chinese government for long enough to have an impact on US citizens.
If an outright ban is implemented, however, TikTok will have a three-to-six-month window to go public via an IPO, or sell itself to an American tech company. As for potential buyers, it seems that if the price is right, mega-cap tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, or Oracle could potentially be in the running to purchase TikTok. However, this kind of acquisition could only come to fruition if there is no legal pushback from ByteDance regarding the potential sale.
In response to Congress’s concerns over data privacy, Chew stated that TikTok is the first social media company to have an initiative like Project Texas, and cited several US-based companies that have had their own struggles with protecting user data. The CEO stated that “American social companies don’t have a good track record with data privacy and user security. Look at Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, just one example.”
While TikTok continues to be scrutinized by US lawmakers, there is one thing we know for certain: our days of doom-scrolling on TikTok as we know it in its current form may be coming to an end. If the algorithmic albatross ultimately decides not to offer an IPO, or to get sold to a US-based company, the suggestion for a nationwide ban may become a reality sooner than we think. What’s more, if TikTok gets acquired by Microsoft, Meta, Apple, or Oracle, then the Chinese government will no longer have access to user data, but does that necessarily mean our data is safe?
For now, all we can do is wait to see how this story unfolds. As of right now, things aren’t looking great for TikTok, and the fate of the company’s presence in the United States ultimately depends on Chow’s willingness to cooperate with the US government.