In response to the US government's latest executive order, Beijing-based TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, today released a statement saying that it will take to US court if the US government fails to treat TikTok fairly.
According to the statement, the "reports" cited in the executive order are of unknown or unverified origin, and concerns that the app "may" be used for false advertising have no basis in fact.
"We have made it clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government and has never reviewed content upon request," the statement said.
"In fact, we have made our review policy and algorithm source code public by establishing the Transparency Center, and no comparable technology company has yet committed to such a responsibility," it added.
ByteDance argues that the US executive order will undermine global businesses' trust in the US commitment to the rule of law. The order sets a dangerous precedent that runs counter to freedom of expression and open markets.
"We are committed to taking all possible steps to ensure that the rule of law is not abandoned and that our companies and our customers are treated fairly. If the US government fails to treat us fairly, we will take to US courts."
The following is the full translated text of the statement:
TikTok is a creative and passionate community that brings joy to countless families and provides meaningful careers for creators.
We will be building this platform for the long haul and TikTok will continue to exist for the long haul.
We are appalled that this latest executive order from the President of the United States did not follow due process of law.
For almost a year, we have been sincerely seeking to communicate with the US government and provide constructive solutions to the concerns they have raised.
Instead, we have been confronted with the US government's reckless disregard for the facts, its failure to follow due process in determining the terms of the agreement, and even its attempts to interfere in negotiations between private companies.
We have made it clear that we are willing to negotiate a solution with the US government so that we can continue to serve our users, creators, business partners, employees, and American society.
However, throughout this process, the US government has not followed due process nor acted in accordance with the law.
The "reports" cited in the Executive Order are of unknown or unsubstantiated origin, and there is no real basis for concern that the app "may" be used in a false advertising campaign.
In addition, TikTok's questioned data collection practices have been the norm for thousands of mobile programs around the world.
As we have made clear, TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor has it ever reviewed content upon request.
In fact, we have made our review policy and algorithm source code publicly available through the creation of a Transparency Center, a responsibility that no other technology company of its kind has committed to.
We have even indicated that we could sell our US business to a US company.
This executive order would undermine global businesses' trust in America's commitment to the rule of law.
It is what has attracted foreign investment and fueled US economic growth for decades.
This order sets a dangerous precedent that runs counter to freedom of expression and open markets.
We will vigorously pursue all available measures to ensure that the rule of law is not abandoned and that our companies and our customers are treated fairly.
If the US government does not treat us fairly, we will take our case to the US courts.
For the 100 million US users who call TikTok their home for self-expression, entertainment, and connection, we want them to know that TikTok has never, and will never, waver from our commitment. User safety and community trust have always been our top priority.
As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family members, you have the right to be heard by members of Congress at all levels, including the White House Administration. Your voices have a right to be heard.