In a recent internal letter, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming expressed his thoughts about the pontential sale of the company trendy short video sharing platform TikTok.
Zhang said that he has been actively cooperating with the CFIUS investigation into the late 2017 acquisition of musical.ly for nearly a year.
CFIUS has determined that ByteDance must sell TikTok's U.S. business, despite their repeated emphasis that we are a private company and our willingness to take additional technology solutions to address concerns, he said.
He said ByteDance disagreed with the decision because we have always been committed to ensuring the security of user data, platform neutrality and transparency.
However, given the current environment, it must also face the CFIUS decision and the US President's executive order, while not giving up on exploring any possibilities. "We attempted to have preliminary discussions with a technology company regarding a partnership to form a plan to ensure that TikTok can continue to serve U.S. users."
The following is the full translated text of the internal letter:
The company has had a lot of challenges in the past few months. You should have seen many rumors and speculations about the company in the past few days.
In the current situation, TikTok's U.S. business faces the possibility of being forced to sell by CFIUS, or having TikTok products blocked in the U.S. due to an executive order.
The current geopolitical and public opinion environment is increasingly complex, we are facing external pressures in a number of markets, and the teams involved in the response have been working around the clock and overtime for the past few weeks to achieve the best possible outcome.
While many of the details can't be said on a broad scale yet, I'd like to do as much as I can to synchronize with you and say what I think.
For nearly a year, we have been actively cooperating with CFIUS's investigation into our late 2017 acquisition of musical.ly.
Despite repeatedly emphasizing that we are a private company and that we are willing to take additional technology solutions to address concerns, CFIUS determined that ByteDance must sell TikTok's U.S. business.
We disagree with this decision, as we have always been committed to ensuring user data security, platform neutrality and transparency.
Given the current environment, we also had to face the CFIUS decision and the US President's Executive Order without giving up exploring any possibilities.
We tried to have preliminary discussions with a technology company about a partnership to form a solution that would ensure that TikTok could continue to serve US users.
In our search for a solution, we considered three areas.
1. users.TikTok is not just a ByteDance product, as Vanessa said in yesterday's video, it's more of a global community of users, so we don't treat it as an inanimate asset.
In the process, we will do everything we can to protect TikTok's unique existence and hope that TikTok's user experience will not be compromised.
The team: TikTok attracts a lot of people and brings together the efforts of many colleagues, for whom it is both a job and a career. Especially for the local colleagues who are dealing with the crisis, they are under more pressure.
I often think that if they were working in a local company, they would have fewer worries. But on the other hand, tackling challenges together has also helped colleagues from different regions to understand each other better. We consider the interests and development of the team as an important consideration.
3. company. We want to continue to work on our vision of inspire creativity & enrich life, and improve it as much as our products evolve to become a great global company.
We haven't fully decided on a final solution yet, and the outside concerns and rumors about TikTok are likely to continue for some time.
I hope that we can still maintain good morale in the midst of the noise and challenges, look at the long-term resilience, trust the company to make good decisions in complex situations, and give our employees enough support.
And through continuous innovation and firm execution, we provide the best service to our customers and maintain rapid growth, which is the most solid backing to cope with the crisis.
TikTok has become part of the global culture; it is the window, canvas and bridge for users. Hundreds of millions of users have gathered on our platform to create, connect, and bring joy and information to users.
There are also so many people creating, operating and realizing their value on our platform. Thinking about all of this, I'm confident in TikTok's future. I'm also confident that we can earn more trust.
As always, our team is especially united in times of difficulty, and we are all optimistic and resilient. I appreciate everyone's commitment and dedication, and it's an important motivation for me to do challenging things with such a great team.
Finally, I would like to say again that ByteDance wants to be a trustworthy global company, always unchanged, and even more worth working for in a time of great change. That in itself has been a challenging and rewarding journey.