While teenagers flock to the service, Western cultures are beginning to look closely at TikTok. The reason is due to some of the moves the company has made over its existence. The Federal Trade Commission fined the company over child privacy violations dating back to the days of Musical.ly. Recently, it was revealed that the platform was scraping iPhone clipboards for an unknown reason. The company claimed it was an accident, but that wasn't a good enough explanation.
As a result, investigations into the brand, which is owned by a Chinese company with strong ties to the government. That relationship makes a lot of people, including government regulators, very uncomfortable, especially when the target demographic for the platform is teenagers and young adults. As some governments, including the US, have begun banning it in certain environments and mulling banning it entirely, as India already has, the company needs to find a way to address the issue.
One solution, which seems to be gianing some momentum, is selling the brand, or at least a controlling stake in the brand, to a US company. This would make the decisions of daily activity a US process, and oversight over behaviors could be moved to the States. With a move like this, regulatory concern would be minimized, though likely not eliminated. But, companies like Epic Games and Activision have minoroty investment from Tancent, another questionable Chinese company, but have no real oversight issues from the government.
Another attempt to woo over the US, in particular, is through a new Creator Fund. The company has put aside $200 million in an attempt to draw US creators to the platform. If the company can show enough support form US creators, perhaps it can stave off an outright ban from the Western countries, especially the US. To participate in the fund, the company says that creators will have to post original content regularly and have to meet TikTok Community Guidelines, which have also come under scrutiny. LGBT content can be banned under the guidelines, which has led many to question the relationship with the Chinese government.
While a loyal fanbase and creator community could potentially have an affect on public policy, national security will always outweigh public demand. TikTok has bigger issues to address than just getting some popular creators to make engaging content if they want to stay in the West.