The founder and CEO of ByteDance which owns TikTok, a video app popular among the teens in the United States, will now focus on luring users for its video app in countries outside of its strongest markets, as said an internal memo seen by Reuters. The move came following mounting political pressure on its video app in the United States.
The internal staff note was actually the goal setting exercise for the months of November and December but it came after recent rising concerns by U.S. lawmakers on how the video app collects the data of U.S. users and whether the content seen by U.S. users has been censored by China.
In his note, written in both English and Mandarin Chinese, Zhang said that the company would continue to diversify the growth of TikTok by increasing investments in markets where TikTok is though present but is in a weaker position.
TikTok quickly gained the popularity in the United States especially among the young adults and teenagers, and that prompted the need of scrutiny of the app at a time when tensions between the U.S. and China have been rising.
In the note, there was no mention of the U.S. pressure but Zhang insisted to further enhance firm’s capabilities in tackling the public affair globally and urged to increase the user data protection practices.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has already been reviewing acquisition of U.S.-based app Musical.ly by ByteDance for $1 billion. Soon after the acquisition of U.S. app, ByteDance then merged the same into TikTok, as Reuters reported earlier this month.
ByteDance reject any control of Beijing over content available on TikTok, which was launched a couple of years ago and has more than 1.5 billion downloads worldwide that makes it the third largest non-gaming app of the year downloaded globally, with Facebook’s Whatsapp and Messenger at the leading positions, according to research firm SensorTower.