"We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process," TikTok representatives wrote in an official statement following the US government's move to ban any transactions with the platform's developer ByteDance Ltd.
"For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed", the company added. "What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses."
On 6 August, US President Donald Trump signed an order prohibiting "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd" or its subsidiaries beginning 45 days after the document’s signing.
ByteDance is a Beijing-based, multinational internet tech giant, which owns the video-sharing service TikTok.
The Trump administration's move followed months of speculations from US officials about a possible ban amid security concerns associated with the platform.
However, TikTok dismissed all fears of "misinformation campaigns" or "concerns about the collection of data" raised by the order and said that the "text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed 'reports' with no citations".
"We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request," the company wrote.
"In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Centre, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to. We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company."
TikTok representatives added that Trump's order "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law" and also sets "a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets".
New Target of Trump Administration
Last week, Trump announced his plans to completely ban the widely popular short-video app, which is widely popular among the teen audience, but later it was reported by Reuters that the president could approve a 45-day window for the Chinese giant to sell TikTok to US-based Microsoft Corp. On Sunday, Microsoft said that the company "fully appreciates the importance of addressing the president's concerns" and announced that it was "committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States".
The White House long insisted that under a Chinese owner the app can be a threat to national security due to personal data collection issues, something the company's executives have denied.
The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Microsoft was planning to buy all of TikTok, and not just its US-based operations, as expressed during "preliminary" talks, but some later dismissed the report as untrue. Following the order, ByteDance now has indeed been given a deadline for selling the app if it wants to continue its operation across the country.
The US also prohibited any transactions related to China’s WeChat mobile application and its owner Tencent Holdings Ltd., a ban that will also come into effect 45 days after the executive order's signing. Tencent Holdings is a major Chinese conglomerate owns substantial stakes in the companies Tesla and Reddit.
A crusade against TikTok and WeChat comes amid Donald Trump's long-expressed plans to "punish" China for the extent of the coronavirus pandemic, but other US officials insist that it was security concerns that underscored White House's commitment to constrain the app's operation to avoid risks associated with the collection of the personal data of American users. Last year, Donald Trump banned another Chinese tech giant, Huawei, from making business with American firms over claims of the company's alleged espionage efforts on behalf of Beijing, claims which Chinese officials and the company's executives wholeheartedly dismissed.