TikTok was already having a bad week.
Seemingly inspired by a decision by India’s government to ban the Bytedance app over national security concerns, on Monday (July 6), US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo suggested that President Donald Trump’s administration was “certainly looking at” doing the same in the States.
Pompeo warned consumers that they should only download TikTok “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
In the past few hours of today (July 10), it has emerged that now Amazon – which employs 500,000 people in the US – has asked its workforce to delete TikTok from their phones.
According to the New York Times, which broke the story, Amazon sent a memo today to employees requesting the deletion of the TikTok app from any device they use to “access Amazon email”.
The important bit: Amazon cited “security risks” as the reason for the request.
TikTok says it’s bemused by Amazon’s action. In response to the Amazon news, the Bytedance platform’s reps said in a statement that TikTok was “committed to user privacy”.
TikTok added, “While Amazon did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns, we welcome a dialogue.”
TikTok also offered a strenuous denial earlier this week to Mike Pompeo’s suggestion that it was harvesting user data and giving it to the Chinese government.
A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement following Pompeo’s comments: “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US.
“We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
TikTok hired that American CEO, ex-Disney exec Kevin Mayer, in May, nearly two years after it launched in the US following a merger with karaoke app Musical.ly.
Today, TikTok has around 30m active users in the United States.Music Business Worldwide