TikTok Creators Sue U.S. Over New Law Forcing Sale or Ban

A group of TikTok creators has filed a lawsuit with the intent to block a new law that requires ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of the popular social platform, to divest of the app by mid-January or have it banned from U.S. app stores. The eight petitioners claim that banning the app would be a violation of their First Amendment rights. TikTok and ByteDance filed a similar suit last week and is also paying the legal fees for this latest challenge, according to media reports. The creator lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Continue reading TikTok Creators Sue U.S. Over New Law Forcing Sale or Ban

ByteDance Files Suit Against the U.S. Over TikTok Sale or Ban

Short-form video hosting service TikTok and its China-based parent company ByteDance have filed suit against the United States challenging the constitutionality of the law that seeks to force a sale of the popular social media company, or otherwise ban it from use in the United States. The petition seeks to upend the bill President Biden signed into law April 24 as part of a foreign aid package. TikTok faces a ban from U.S. app stores if ByteDance has not been sold to a non-adversarial entity by mid-January 2025. ByteDance has made clear it has no intention of divesting. Continue reading ByteDance Files Suit Against the U.S. Over TikTok Sale or Ban

U.S. Braces for TikTok Ban After President Signs Bill into Law

Congress rapidly passed and President Biden signed into law a bill intended to sideline the short-form video service TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. The process played out over the course of a week — the result of the proposal being tied to a foreign aid package with support for Ukraine and Israel. The nation now readies for the aftermath of the new U.S. law, which gives ByteDance nine months to find a new, U.S.-approved owner. Absent that, the app will essentially be banned from app stores and ISPs, which will face fines for distributing or supporting the social platform. Continue reading U.S. Braces for TikTok Ban After President Signs Bill into Law

TikTok Updates Its Code to Sync to Separate ‘TikTok Photos’

Having fended off challenges in the short-form video sphere since its late 2016 launch, it now appears TikTok is playing offense, laying the groundwork for a photo-sharing app that has drawn comparisons to Instagram and Pinterest. Avid TikTok users are probably familiar with a feature that lets them post still images as moving images that can be examined by advancing frame-by-frame. Now TikTok seems to want to improve that approach by building a separate TikTok Photos app to which users of the primary platform can export and showcase their still images to Android and iOS. Continue reading TikTok Updates Its Code to Sync to Separate ‘TikTok Photos’

House Passes Bill That Could Remove TikTok from App Stores

The House of Representatives voted 352 to 65 today to pass a bill that could lead to a nationwide ban of popular video-sharing app TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance and currently used by 170 million Americans. The bill, introduced out of concern for national security, would prohibit TikTok from app stores in the U.S. unless it is spun off from ByteDance. It is not clear how the Senate will respond to the proposed legislation, which advanced unanimously by the House Energy and Commerce Committee (50-0), and President Biden indicated he would sign. Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry has called the measure an “act of bullying.” Continue reading House Passes Bill That Could Remove TikTok from App Stores

House Intros a Bill to Penalize App Stores Distributing TikTok

The House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would make it illegal in the U.S. to distribute TikTok under its current ownership. The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act “prevents app store availability or web hosting services in the U.S. for ByteDance-controlled applications, including TikTok, unless the application severs ties to entities like ByteDance that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary,” according to a sponsor statement. Violators would be subject to a penalty of $5,000 for every U.S. user that “accessed, maintained or updated” any “foreign adversary controlled applications” from its platform. Continue reading House Intros a Bill to Penalize App Stores Distributing TikTok

Florida Pushes Forward a Social Media Ban for Kids Under 16

Florida’s legislature has passed a bill banning children younger than 16 from having social media accounts despite some pushback from Governor Ron DeSantis, who said he will be wrestling with whether to sign the measure into law. Due to a procedural requirement, DeSantis will have to sign or veto the proposed legislation before lawmakers conclude the current session in a matter of weeks. He has expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of a provision to let parents override the restriction, which would curtail access to the most popular sites, potentially impacting TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. Continue reading Florida Pushes Forward a Social Media Ban for Kids Under 16

Apple Yanks Newer Watches from Retail Following Patent Suit

Apple is pausing sales of its two newest Apple Watch models following a U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) import ban due to unauthorized use of technology patented by Irvine, California-based medical device maker Masimo. Apple plans to have the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches removed from its online and retail stores by December 26. The move, which comes at the height of the holiday shopping season, will no doubt prompt a frenzy of in-store purchases between now and Sunday. Apple has the decision under review. Barring reversal, it could take steps to reintroduce the watches. Continue reading Apple Yanks Newer Watches from Retail Following Patent Suit

Pew: U.S. Teens Fixated on Video Apps YouTube and TikTok

Teenagers in the U.S. are finding it hard to tear themselves away from YouTube and TikTok, according to a new study of 13- to 17-year-olds by the Pew Research Center. Pew found that “nearly 1 in 5 saying they use the video-streaming apps ‘almost constantly.’” YouTube topped the chart for the second consecutive year, with 93 percent, “roughly 9 in 10 teens” saying they regularly use YouTube. That far outstrips TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, which manage to creep to about 70 percent among a subset of teens 15 to 17. Among the total teen sample, that falls to 63 percent for TikTok, 60 percent for Snapchat and 59 percent for Instagram, according to Pew. Continue reading Pew: U.S. Teens Fixated on Video Apps YouTube and TikTok

Plans for TikTok Containment Would Give Feds Broad Power

A draft agreement said to have been presented by the U.S. government to ByteDance that would let TikTok avoid a federal ban seeks “near unfettered access” to company data and “unprecedented control” over platform functions. The nearly 100-page document, reported on this week, seeks control federal officials don’t have over other media outlets — social or otherwise — raising domestic concerns about government overreach. The draft dates to summer 2022. It is not known whether it has been updated or if the secretive negotiations between ByteDance and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) have since continued. Continue reading Plans for TikTok Containment Would Give Feds Broad Power

TikTok Is Aiming for $20 Billion in Global E-Commerce Sales

TikTok is targeting a massive four-fold increase in global e-commerce revenue this year, aiming for $20 billion in sales. The social media platform reported gross merchandise activity of $4.4 billion last year, which reflects the total sale of goods via the TikTok Shop e-commerce solution. TikTok is banking on significant growth in markets including Indonesia, where influencers live-stream shopping pitches for everything from denim jeans to lipstick. The U.S. and Europe account for a tiny portion of the projected goal, but TikTok is hoping for modest gains in those areas as well. Continue reading TikTok Is Aiming for $20 Billion in Global E-Commerce Sales

Montana’s TikTok Ban Tees Up First Amendment Legal Battle

Montana has become the first state to institute an outright ban on TikTok, barring it from operating in the region and prohibiting app stores from providing downloads there. The move is opposed not only by the Chinese-owned TikTok, but by free speech advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union. The ban is set to go into effect January 1, 2024, though legal challenges could delay that implementation. Observers say the inevitable lawsuits fighting the legislation could prove instructive as relates to proposed federal TikTok bans in development in Washington. Continue reading Montana’s TikTok Ban Tees Up First Amendment Legal Battle

Montana Is First State to Send TikTok Ban to Governor’s Desk

Montana law may soon include a total ban on TikTok, as governor Greg Gianforte decides whether to sign a first-of-its-kind prohibition approved by the state’s House of Representatives on Friday. The legislation would also seek to prevent app stores doing business in the state from carrying TikTok. Gianforte will also have the option to veto the proposal, or take no action for 10 days after the bill hits his desk, in which case it becomes law without his signature. Such a ban would likely be challenging to enforce at the state level. Blocking users from TikTok has gained bipartisan support at the federal level, though efforts to pass nationwide legislation have failed. Continue reading Montana Is First State to Send TikTok Ban to Governor’s Desk

OpenAI’s Altman Talks Up Machine Learning on Global Tour

Amidst calls to put the brakes on large language model development, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has hit the global circuit to tout the advantages of artificial intelligence and commercial opportunities with his firm. Altman’s 17-city tour includes stops in Washington D.C., Toronto, Tokyo, Rio De Janeiro, Lagos, London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Munich, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Dubai, New Delhi, Jakarta, Seoul and Melbourne. On Monday, Altman met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other government officials, vowing to collaborate on protecting user privacy and data protection. Continue reading OpenAI’s Altman Talks Up Machine Learning on Global Tour

Japan, U.S., Netherlands Seek to Limit China’s Chip Industry

Japan decided last week to join the U.S. and Netherlands in limiting exports of chipmaking gear to China. As early as July, suppliers of 23 types of chip technology will need a government sign-off to export to countries including China, which has been struggling to build a domestic chip industry. Japanese companies impacted by the restrictions include Tokyo Electron, Lasertec, Nikon Corp. and Screen Holdings, according to the Japanese trade ministry. The central goal of the clampdown is to make it harder for Chinese firms to produce advanced chips for artificial intelligence. Continue reading Japan, U.S., Netherlands Seek to Limit China’s Chip Industry