TikTok CEO Hits Out at Facebook Attacks ‘Disguised as Patriotism’
Kevin Mayer, the newly appointed CEO of TikTok, has struck back at “maligning attacks” from Facebook over its Chinese ties.
In a blog post titled “Fair competition and transparency benefits us all”, Mayer defended the social media platform from accusations of mishandling user data, claiming that TikTok has received “more scrutiny” than its industry peers due to its ties with China. Mayer also used the post to strike at Facebook, whose Reels and Lasso platforms he accused of being TikTok “copycat products”.
“But 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 wrote.
Mayer’s post comes shortly before Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress in defence of Facebook, which is being investigated alongside other major US tech companies over suspected antitrust issues.
TikTok has recently faced accusations of sharing user data with the Chinese government, which the company has denied. Growing fears over the app’s links with China have caused the Indian government to ban it and raised the possibility of the US government following suit.
In his blog post, Mayer committed to greater transparency in order to address concerns.
“We will not wait for regulation to come, but instead TikTok has taken the first step by launching a Transparency and Accountability Center for moderation and data practices,” he wrote. “Experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms.”
Despite mounting pressure to relinquish control of its app, TikTok parent company ByteDance has valued the platform at $50 billion.