Business Insider

ByteDance founder defends TikTok’s U.S. strategy in staff letter

imageStock Markets3 hours ago (Aug 04, 2020 07:05AM ET)

2/2

(C) Reuters. Zhang Yiming, founder and global CEO of ByteDance, poses in Palo Alto, California

2/2

By Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh

BEIJING (Reuters) – ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming told employees on Tuesday there were misunderstandings on Chinese social media about TikTok’s situation in the United States and that the company could face more difficulties as anti-Chinese sentiment rose abroad.

His comments in a letter to ByteDance’s Chinese employees came after the company and Zhang were heavily criticised on Chinese social media for entering into talks with Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations.

Chinese media first reported the contents of the internal letter. A source confirmed the content of the memo to Reuters.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I actually understand (the criticism),” Zhang said in the letter. “People have high expectations of a company founded by a Chinese person which is going global but have little information about it. With lots of grievances towards the U.S. government, they tend to lash out at us with harsh criticism.”

Since Monday, some users of China’s Twitter-like Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) have said they would uninstall ByteDance’s Chinese short video app Douyin and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao because they believed ByteDance had given in too quickly to Washington.

Others urged ByteDance to learn from U.S. giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which opted to pull its search engine out of the Chinese market in 2010 after China asked it to censor its search results, rather than selling off its Chinese operations.

Zhang said some people had misunderstood the U.S. situation. He said Washington’s goal was not to force a sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations through the Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) but to ban the app, and there was a legal process ByteDance had no choice but to follow.

Zhang told staff on Monday in another internal letter that the company had started talks with a tech company so it could continue to offer the TikTok app in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump initially dismissed the idea of selling TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft but changed his mind following pressure from some advisers and many in the Republican party, because banning TikTok could alienate many young voters, Reuters has reported.

Zhang also told employees that over the last two years, anti-Chinese sentiment had risen in many countries and the company must brace for more difficulties in the current atmosphere.

ByteDance founder defends TikTok’s U.S. strategy in staff letter

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close
Close

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!