Setting the record straight: TikTok denies Trump's accusations

WION Web Team Washington, United States of America Aug 18, 2020, 01.34 PM(IST) Aug 18, 2020, 02.21 PM(IST)

TikTok confirms it will challenge Trump's executive order Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The company claims they have set up the information hub and the Twitter account as a step further in maintaining transparency and accountability

TikTok, the video sharing app, has come forward and denied all accusations made by the US President Donald Trump and has labelled it as "rumors and misinformation".

After Donald Trump gave the company 90 days to divest or face a ban, TikTok has come out with a statement saying that all claims made in Washington about ByteDance-owned company being used by Chinese intelligence are "unfounded and blatantly false".

"TikTok is not available in China. Its US user data is stored in Virginia with a back-up in Singapore and strict controls on employee access. TikTok has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would it do so if asked," a statement on a webpage titled 'The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet: Setting the Record Straight' read.

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The social media giant also launched a new Twitter account "@tiktok_comms" for clear and faster communication with the audience. "To address rumors and misinformation about TikTok, we've built a new information hub to serve as a source of truth. We also launched a Twitter account that's dedicated to sharing company news in real time," the statement read.

Also read: Alibaba next? Trump is looking at pressuring other Chinese companies after Bytedance

The company claims they have set up the information hub and the Twitter account as a step further in maintaining transparency, accountability and a 'security first' promise. "Transparency is at our core, and we're committed to leading the industry in security and accountability. Today, we're taking another step to continue to build trust with our TikTok community by delivering the facts – in our own words and in the words of leading experts across cybersecurity, media, and academia – because we neither support nor stand for the spread of misinformation on our platform, or about our platform."

Musical.ly controversy

This statement was released as a reaction to Trump's accusation especially after, on Friday, Trump signed a separate executive order for ByteDance to sell its interest in Musical.ly, the app it bought and merged with TikTok in 2017, citing national security.

TikTok said the US action "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth."

China, too, called this a "digital gunboat diplomacy" by the US. The two countries have been at verbal and diplomatic war for the last few months.

Also read: China blasts US 'digital gunboat diplomacy' over TikTok

New partnership

Despite the trouble in the US, TikTok, on Monday, announced a new partnership and integration with music distribution platform UnitedMasters.

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"Already known for propelling unknown artists to success, TikTok's new partnership with United Masters provides a turn-key platform for aspiring stars to fast-track their careers," a statement read on TikTok's new information hub. This is the first time a music distribution company will be integrated with TikTok.

“If you are a musical artist, TikTok is the best place for your music to go viral and UnitedMasters is the best place to sustain it while retaining full ownership of your work," says Steve Stoute, CEO and Founder of UnitedMasters. "By combining the two, we create the platform for tomorrow's stars who will be famous, fiercely independent and wealthy."

(With inputs from agencies)

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