TikTok’s missteps in America: Key lessons for global companies

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TikTok's missteps in America: Key lessons for global companies

One of the great topics to discuss in business and politics is about a popular app, tiktok. The current President of the US just signed a law. According to this law the owner of this app, a Chinese company called ByteDance, should sell the app to non-Chinese companies. If the app does not sell according to instruction then it will be banned in nine months. 

According to TikTok, the law is just a show for politics, and they might be onto something. Furthermore, drama may be involved in Politics but it’s a big deal to criticize China. It’s one of the few things that both major US parties agree on. But TikTok seemed really confident before this law passed, showing they don’t really get America or Americans.

US leaders are different as compared to leaders in other countries. They don’t like to put strict rules on businesses. They were against the business selling TikTok apps. Because this action makes people less confident in business dealing and limits free speech. But they agree that if they do make rules, it should really help the public.

Additionally, people were stressed about the safety of their personal data. They were worried about who could see their personal information and if their personal content could be used for bad things on the big social media sites. Congress has discussed this topic again and again, especially focusing on the companies like Meta and Google. But with TikTok, the worry is even bigger because many American lawmakers think the Chinese government could force TikTok to give them American users’ data. In China, laws passed in 2017 and 2021 say that Chinese organizations have to help the government with spying if they’re asked to.

The honor of the app promised to keep American data safe from China. But still leaders are worried about the safety of their private data. They didn’t trust TikTok, partly because of concerns about how Huawei handled data in the past.

There was a chance for things to get better. US officials wanted to check TikTok’s technology carefully. Since everyone cares about keeping data safe, TikTok could have used this to its advantage. It could have done more to protect data and support research on its app. If TikTok had worked with US leaders and been open about everything, it could have made positive changes in the tech industry.

Instead TikTok takes serious action. They hired lobbyists that talk with the government in favor of them. They also involved American Young users to talk to lawmakers and convince them that they don’t want TikTok to get banned. Many youngsters did it and some lawmakers received many hundred calls in just one day. 

On the initial stage this may be a smart move, because Uber did the same and strategy work. But TikTok missed one big thing that Uber belongs to America and TikTokis not. By approaching tomAmercian politics from the wrong way, TikTok makes the situation worse for itself. This showed another big problem that people worry TikTok might cause for everyone.

Over the past decade, the public and politicians have worried too much. They are concerned about how social media can change what people believe, how they act, and even how they vote. They also think that different foreign countries might use these sites to cause trouble. 

So when TikTok got its users to do something together, it wasn’t just annoying to politicians’ assistants; it was a big warning sign. Many of the people joining in didn’t even know what they were protesting. A company from another country showed how it could easily control its users to help itself, proving it knew all along how much power it had over politics. Suddenly, people in the US were more worried about China messing with elections, instead of just Russia.

In short, the future of TikTok in the US is unclear. It is good for a company to get rid of its lobbyists and consultants before taking any crucial step. These people should have advised others to be kinder especially, when American expressed their concerns about privacy and democracy. Other companies must learn from the TikTok misstep in order to repeat the same mistake. 

Research Staff

Research Staff

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