To say that TikTok has been in the eye of the storm would be a gross understatement. The app has been banned in India, several companies have told employees not to use and it is rumoured that the US may also consider banning it. In such uncertain times, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has posted an open letter defending the app, taking digs at Facebook and much more. While the letter is addressed to the US audience, it touches on a lot of issues. Mayer said, “TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy,” before adding, “We are taking the first step of many to address these concerns and call on the industry to follow our lead for the benefit of users and creators everywhere.”
Mayer said that with their success “comes responsibility and accountability.” He said that the app has received more scrutiny due to its Chinese origins. “We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability.”
The CEO of TikTok said that they welcome competition and fair competition makes them better. “To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on,” he wrote in the open letter. Taking a direct dig at Facebook, he said that the social media giant launched a “copycat product” in the form of Reels. He said that Facebook did this after “after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly.” Mayer said that Facebook’s moves are designed to end TikTok’s presence in the US. “Let’s focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor – namely Facebook – disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US,” he said.
Mayer also touched upon the political links and its stand on political advertising. “We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda – our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy.”
India has been one of the biggest markets for TikTok and now it’s been just under a month since the app has been banned. TikTok has said that it is ready to answer all the questions government of India has and will be transparent.