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What A TikTok Deal Means For The Global Internet

TikTok (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)
TikTok (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Who owns TikTok? And what does that mean for you? We untangle the money and politics behind the fight to control the global social media giant.


Louise Matsakis, reporter at Wired. ( @lmatsakis)

Samm Sacks, cybersecurity policy and China digital economy fellow at New America. Senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center. ( @SammSacks)

From The Reading List

New York Times: “ TikTok Files for Injunction to Stop Ban of App” — “TikTok, the short-form viral video app, asked for a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration on Wednesday, a legal maneuver aimed at protecting the company’s service in the United States against a potential ban.”

Wired: “ Trump’s TikTok Deal Is Still an Unresolved Mess” — “On Saturday, President Donald Trump declared that his months-long drama with TikTok had ended in success, calling an agreement made between the social media company, Oracle, and Walmart a ‘great deal for America.'”

New York Times: “ What Happens When Americans Join the Global Internet” — “On Sunday, millions of phones across the United States buzzed with a peculiar notification: ‘TikTok is here to stay!'”

Financial Times: “ Opinion: TikTok and the splintering of the global internet” — “An app known mostly for teenagers posting videos of dance routines and comedy skits might seem an unusual subject of national security concerns. In the unfolding history of the online world, however, the forced sale to an American company of the US arm of TikTok, the first Chinese social media venture to become a global phenomenon, is a milestone.”

Wall Street Journal: “ TikTok’s Zero Hour: Haggling With Trump, Doubts in China and a Deal in Limbo” — “After months of maneuvering over the future of TikTok, it took a pair of 11th-hour phone calls with two of America’s most powerful executives to persuade President Trump to agree to a tentative deal.”

New York Times: “ TikTok Deal Trips Over U.S.-China Power Struggle” — “A deal intended to address the Trump administration’s concerns about TikTok’s ties to China was complicated on Monday by a disagreement over whether a U.S. company would control the social media app and the president’s threat to block any agreement that leaves the service in the hands of a Chinese company.”

Slate: “ The Risks TikTok Poses Are Not at All Unique to TikTok” — “This article is part of the Free Speech Project, a collaboration between Future Tense and the Tech, Law, & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law that examines the ways technology is influencing how we think about speech.”

Wired: “ Trump’s TikTok Circus Will Have Lasting Consequences” — “It’s been one hell of a week for TikTok. The company is scrambling to get the White House to approve a deal it struck with Oracle, designed to alleviate national security concerns the US government raised about TikTok’s Chinese ownership.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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