Is TikTok Shutting Down?

Rumors are circulating about this popular lip-syncing app—here's why

A ban on the app in the U.S. was proposed but didn't happen and won't be likely to happen in the future.

Is TikTok Getting Banned in the U.S.?

The mention of banning TikTok in the U.S. began when President Trump accused the app of being a national security threat. His demands later changed from outright banning the app to having them sell it to an American-based company.

A deadline was made for the app's sale, and if they failed to sell by that date, Trump said the app would be banned. However, the deadline changed from early fall to mid-November, giving ByteDance time to strike deals with U.S. based companies. This means TikTok is not likely to be banned.

Did Microsoft Buy TikTok?

tiktok headquarters sign

Many companies were in the running to buy TikTok, including the tech mogul Microsoft. However, ByteDance rejected Microsoft's offer to outright buy TikTok. The company was reluctant to hand the app over entirely, and so instead they decided to partner with another U.S.-based company, Oracle.

Instead of selling the app, ByteDance has teamed up with Oracle, which has a 12.5% stake in TikTok, to oversee U.S. operations of the app as a cloud provider. Oracle has also confirmed they are working on a partnership with Walmart to market the app.

Trump agreed to these terms of the deal in order for the app to continue its availability in the U.S.

How Much Is TikTok Worth?

With over 500 million users, many companies were jumping at the chance to partner with the company. It's estimated to be worth about 75 billion dollars.

It's also why ByteDance is so reluctant to sell the app entirely and instead opted to grant other companies stakes in the app. They still own 80% of TikTok, earning most of the revenue the app produces.

Is TikTok Safe?

tiktok download screen

TikTok is a top-rated app where users can upload short videos of themselves, most often lip-syncing or dancing. It sounds pretty harmless, but some believe this app could potentially pose security issues. The issue was most notably brought to attention by United States President Donald Trump, who called the app a national security threat.

The most important question you may have, especially if you are a TikTok user, is whether TikTok is safe to use or not. The answer is a bit complex.

There have been allegations TikTok, owned by the company ByteDance based in China, is actually Chinese spyware that takes data from its users' devices and sells it. There was an issue found with the app where it would look at what has been saved to your phone's clipboard, but it was explained this was done to prevent spam, and the feature has since been removed.

The claim that it accesses more private data on your phone and sends it to China has not been validated.

While TikTok does obtain your data, the extent to which it does this is no more malicious than other social media apps like Facebook or Instagram. Social media sites access your data to alter your experience while using the site or app, and with TikTok, it's unlikely this means you're being spied on. This kind of data is used to tell the app what you're most likely to want to watch, who you'll want to follow, and so on.

Although there is a lack of evidence the app really is spyware, the U.S. government has been erring on the side of caution.

Will TikTok Get Banned in the U.S. in the Future?

phone with tiktok logo and flag of china in background

Since ByteDance has struck up its deal with Oracle, all parties involved seem to have reached a satisfactory conclusion. TikTok's security issues are not so different from other popular social media, and Donald Trump seems less worried about this since he has expressed his agreement to the changes in ownership.

If ByteDance continues its partnership with Oracle and no hiccups occur, it's safe to say TikTok will be available to users in the U.S. for some time. A large portion of TikTok's revenue is from the U.S., so ByteDance will probably be doing their best to keep the app going and avoid any bans.

There's always a possibility something could change in the future, especially since the deal between ByteDance and Oracle is relatively new, so it's worth keeping your eyes on the news just in case.