TikTok’s US Strategy Defended by Parent ByteDance Founder in Letter to Staff


ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming advised staff on Tuesday there have been misunderstandings on Chinese social media about TikTok’s scenario within the United States and that the corporate may face extra difficulties as anti-Chinese sentiment rose overseas.

His feedback in a letter to ByteDance’s Chinese staff got here after the corporate and Zhang had been closely criticised on Chinese social media for getting into into talks with Microsoft to promote TikTok’s US operations.

Chinese media first reported the contents of the inner letter. A supply confirmed the content material of the memo to Reuters.

ByteDance didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

“I actually understand (the criticism),” Zhang mentioned within the letter. “People have high expectations of a company founded by a Chinese person which is going global but have little information about it. With lots of grievances towards the US government, they tend to lash out at us with harsh criticism.”

Since Monday, some customers of China’s Twitter-like Weibo have mentioned they might uninstall ByteDance’s Chinese quick video app Douyin and information aggregator Jinri Toutiao as a result of they believed ByteDance had given in too shortly to Washington.

Others urged ByteDance to be taught from US large Google, which opted to drag its search engine out of the Chinese market in 2010 after China requested it to censor its search outcomes, moderately than promoting off its Chinese operations.

Zhang mentioned some individuals had misunderstood the US scenario. He mentioned Washington’s objective was to not pressure a sale of TikTok’s US operations by the Committee of Foreign Investment within the US (CFIUS) however to ban the app, and there was a authorized course of ByteDance had no alternative however to observe.

Zhang advised workers on Monday in one other inside letter that the corporate had began talks with a tech firm so it may proceed to supply the TikTok app within the United States.

US President Donald Trump initially dismissed the thought of promoting TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft however modified his thoughts following strain from some advisers and plenty of within the Republican celebration, as a result of banning TikTok may alienate many younger voters, Reuters has reported.

Zhang additionally advised staff that during the last two years, anti-Chinese sentiment had risen in lots of nations and the corporate should brace for extra difficulties within the present environment.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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