On Wednesday morning, TikTok’s new CEO, Kevin Mayer, published an open letter blasting Facebook for allegedly trying to snuff out its competition—namely, TikTok—with “maligning attacks” that are “disguised as patriotism.”
The video-sharing service, which is owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, began gaining popularity worldwide in 2018 and quickly became the seventh most downloaded app of the 2010-2019 decade. But it’s also faced scrutiny from foreign countries for its China connection and concerns that it could share information with the Chinese government: Last month, India blocked TikTok along with dozens of other Chinese apps, citing threats “to sovereignty and security of our country,” and in recent weeks other countries have considered following suit—including Japan, Australia, and the United States, where Trump campaign used Facebook’s reach to circulate ads claiming that TikTok is “spying” on its tens of millions of users.
Of the scrutiny, Mayer wrote, “We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability. We believe it is essential to show users, advertisers, creators, and regulators that we are responsible and committed members of the American community that follows US laws.”