Could TikTok Really Get Shut Down? Here's What You Need to Know

Are TikTok’s days numbered? Despite the platform’s massive user base, President Donald Trump has been very vocal in his desire to ban TikTok allegedly over security concerns. ET is taking a look at what that would mean and if it’s really likely to happen.

“A lot of people have hopped on TikTok since quarantine. Usage has been skyrocketing,” Taylor Lorenz, a tech journalist for the New York Times, recently explained to ET.

According to Lorenz, “The issue is that [TikTok] is owned by Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance” and the US Government is concerned that the app “could be leaking data directly to the Chinese government.”

Trump declared on Monday that TikTok has until Sept. 15 until it will be banned, by act of executive order, unless the US arm of operations is bought and operated by a US-run company. Microsoft is reportedly in talks with ByteDance to possibly make a deal for the app’s American operations.

“I set a date of around Sept. 15, at which point it’s going to be out of business,” Trump told the White House press, ABC News reports. “But if somebody, and whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, buys it, that’ll be interesting.”

In response, TikTok content creators are upset at the prospect of the platform getting shut down.

“We saw hundreds if not thousands of creators live streaming, some of them crying telling users to follow them on Instagram and YouTube,” Lorenz recalled. “A lot of these TikTok users are relying on the app for their livelihood… [some] creators are making potentially tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per post.”

The app has already been banned in other places, including India and Hong Kong.

“Users were met with screens that said, ‘This app is no longer available in this location.’ The app suddenly wouldn’t work on your phone,” Lorenz explained.

That being said, TikTok’s General Manager Vanessa Pappas recently said in a video posted to the platform that it’s not “going anywhere.”

“When it comes to safety and security we are building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do,” she added.

One recurring question is whether or not the president’s reported concerns regarding safety and security of US data is legitimate.

“It’s very important to be skeptical of any company that’s run by China operating in the US,” Lorenz said. However, she also pointed out that TikTok “is not the only Chinese app that we use,” yet it is the only one facing a ban at the president’s demand.

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