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ByteDance Prefers Shutdown Over Sale of TikTok Amid US Ban Threats

 |  April 25, 2024

In the face of looming legislative measures threatening to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores, ByteDance, the Chinese tech conglomerate behind the popular video-sharing platform, has reportedly signaled a startling preference: shuttering TikTok altogether rather than succumbing to pressure to sell it.

Citing insider sources close to ByteDance, Reuters revealed that the company would opt for a shutdown if all legal avenues to challenge the ban were exhausted.

The sources, who chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the matter, disclosed that ByteDance views TikTok’s proprietary algorithms as integral to its broader operations. This perspective renders the prospect of selling the app — algorithm included — highly improbable, the insiders emphasized.

Despite TikTok constituting only a fraction of ByteDance’s overall revenues and user base, the company apparently prioritizes retaining control over its core technology.

Related: TikTok CEO Confident of Overcoming US Ban: ‘We’re Here to Stay’

A potential shutdown of TikTok in the United States, the sources asserted, would yield minimal repercussions for ByteDance’s business operations and would enable the company to safeguard its coveted algorithm. ByteDance underscored its commitment to retaining ownership of TikTok in a statement issued via Toutiao, a media platform under its purview, refuting claims of exploring sales scenarios for the platform’s U.S. operations sans the algorithm.

The revelation comes amid a protracted battle between ByteDance and U.S. lawmakers over concerns about data privacy and national security, with TikTok often finding itself at the center of the fray. The potential implications of ByteDance’s reported stance extend beyond the confines of the tech industry, resonating with broader geopolitical tensions between China and the United States.

Source: Reuters