TikTok Has 45 Days Until … What, Exactly?


After weeks of rumors, exoduses from major TikTokers, and endless amounts of confusion, Donald Trump issued an executive order on Thursday August 6 giving TikTok’s Chinese owners, ByteDance, 45 days to sell the app to a U.S.-based company. ByteDance merged TikTok with American company Music.ly in 2017, after it purchased Music.ly for $1 billion, and the app soared in popularity. While TikTok stars like Charli D’Amelio and Sarah Cooper keep their content light, criticism over data-security concerns and censorship has made the app Trump’s No. 1 concern even as the country struggles against a pandemic. Let’s break down how TikTok became Trump’s public enemy No. 1 and what might happen in just 45 days.

How did all these politicians even find out about TikTok?
Well, as much as this seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to TikTok teens, K-Pop stans, and the extremely online ruining of Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, campaign rally on June 20, a government committee has had TikTok under review for the past year, looking into ByteDance’s acquisition of Music.ly. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is expected to make a recommendation to the president, according to chair and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. The reason Trump is more concerned about TikTok than the coronavirus right now is probably thanks to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on July 7, he suggested that the government is “looking into” banning a number of Chinese apps, “especially” TikTok. Then, Democratic Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Missouri senator Josh Hawley sent a letter to the Justice Department on Thursday, July 30, demanding that it open an investigation into TikTok. (The committee is already working on it, guys.)


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