President Trump attempts to make TikTok an American app, possible headquarters in Texas


Grace Bent

The Chinese video-sharing app, TikTok, is popular among many Americans. President Trump is trying to ban the app, unless owned by a US company.

On Sept. 19, President Donald Trump released a potential end to the months-long feud that he engaged in with the social media app TikTok. After a back and forth of threats to ban the app, a solution is on the horizon.

TikTok was first released in the United States back in 2018. Though it has been available in China since 2016, it only appeared in the app store after it merged with a similar app called 

Simple in design and usage, TikTok serves as a video creation and sharing platform. Videos last for up to 60 seconds and cover a wide range of genres, from comedy to edits to informational. Many TikTokers have become influencers in their own right, securing brand deals with major companies.

On July 7 came the first whisperings of banning the app in the U.S. In the months since, there has been an imminent threat of Trump going through with the ban, which has outraged many app users.

“I think it’s crazy that the president is focusing on trying to ban TikTok when he should be focusing on more important things, like COVID-19,” St. Edward’s junior Katherine Flanagan says.

This begs a major question: why is Trump dead set on banning the app in the United States?

It all boils down to the owner of TikTok. The app is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company. Since the app is owned by a Chinese company, Trump is worried that China could possess American info from its users and use it to their advantage in the future. 

This brings us full circle to the deal that was made on Sept. 19. Trump has consistently said that he has no problem with the app as long it exists in the United States under an American company. 

The deal that has been reached is between Walmart and Oracle, an American technology company. According to NPR, “U.S. tech company Oracle is joining hands with Walmart to form a new entity called TikTok Global, which will be headquartered in the United States.”

Even with this new deal, it is expected that ByteDance will still have some ownership in the app. This brings up many concerns, with experts saying that this new partnership doesn’t really change anything.

“A deal where Oracle takes over hosting without source code and significant operational changes would not address any of the legitimate concerns about TikTok,” former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos says

If the app does end up banned in the United States, it is unclear if a new app will replace it. Recently, many TikTokers have been making the switch to Youtube in case the platform does get shut down, just as former Vine users did when the Twitter-owned app shut down. 

Instagram has also introduced Instagram Reels, the closest thing to TikTok, allowing users to upload short videos as a post, as opposed to having to put video content on Instagram Live. 

It has been reported that if the deal goes through, there is a possibility of the headquarters being Austin-based as the city already hosts around 2,500 Oracle workers. There are also plans to hire even more workers in the Capital City.

As of Sept. 22, TikTok is still available to download from the app store.