The answer to that question is a resounding, “well, it’s complicated.” But before we jump into that legal briar patch, let’s take a quick look at the company that has so effectively managed to raise the president’s ire. If you don’t know what TikTok is, go ask literally anybody under the age of 30. The short-form, video-based website is a social media juggernaut. It pales against Facebook or Twitter in terms of monthly active users but TikTok still commands an estimated 70 million users in the US (and around 800 million worldwide). It’s owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012.
TikTok was launched internationally in 2017, a year after the Chinese-market version (dubbed Douyin) went live, though the app didn’t make it state-side until after ByteDance merged with Musical.ly in 2018. But when TikTok did hit, it hit hard, quickly becoming one of the most downloaded apps in