TikTok’s rise within the West is unprecedented for any Chinese tech firm, and so is the quantity of consideration it has attracted from politicians worldwide. Below is a timeline of how TikTok grew from what some thought-about one other “copycat” brief video app to international dominance and ultimately grew to become a goal of the U.S. authorities.
2012-2017: The emergence of TikTok
These years had been a interval of quick progress for ByteDance, the Beijing-based guardian firm behind TikTok. Originally launched in China as Douyin, the video-sharing app rapidly was wildly profitable in its home market earlier than setting its sights on the remainder of the world.
Zhang Yiming, a 29-year-old serial engineer, establishes ByteDance in Beijing.
Chinese product designer Alex Zhu launches Musical.ly.
ByteDance launches Douyin, which is regarded by many as a Musical.ly clone. It launches Douyin’s abroad model TikTok later that yr.
2017-2019: TikTok takes off within the United States
TikTok merges with Musical.ly and and launches within the U.S., the place it rapidly turns into fashionable, the primary social media app from a Chinese tech firm to attain that stage of success there. But on the similar time, its possession results in questions on nationwide safety and censorship, in opposition to the backdrop of the U.S.-China tariff wars and elevated scrutiny of Chinese tech firms (together with Huawei and ZTE) underneath the Trump administration.
ByteDance buys Musical.ly for $800 million to $1 billion. (hyperlink)
TikTok merges with Musical.ly and turns into obtainable within the U.S. (hyperlink)
TikTok surpassed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube in downloads. (hyperlink)
Facebook launches TikTok rival Lasso. (hyperlink)
TikTok reaches one billion installs on the App Store and Google Play. (hyperlink)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission fines TikTok $5.7 million over violation of youngsters privateness legislation. (hyperlink)
TikTok tops the App Store for the fifth quarter in a row. (hyperlink)
TikTok is discovered censoring matters thought-about delicate by the Beijing authorities. (hyperlink)
TikTok bans political adverts (hyperlink) however doesn’t seem to take motion on hashtags associated to American politics. (hyperlink)
TikTok faucets company legislation agency Okay&L Gates for recommendation on content material moderation within the U.S. (hyperlink)
U.S. lawmakers ask intelligence chief Joseph Maguire to analyze if TikTok poses a menace to nationwide safety. (hyperlink)
TikTok says it has by no means been requested by the Chinese authorities to take away any content material and wouldn’t accomplish that if requested. (hyperlink)
The Committee on Foreign Investment within the United States reportedly opens a nationwide safety probe into TikTok. (hyperlink)
Instagram launches TikTok rival Reels. (hyperlink)
TikTok apologizes for eradicating a viral video about abuses in opposition to Uighurs. (hyperlink)
The U.S. Navy reportedly bans TikTok. (hyperlink)
The first half of 2020: Growth amid authorities scrutiny
The app is now a mainstay of on-line tradition in America, particularly amongst Generation Z, and its person base has grown even wider as individuals search diversions in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. But TikTok faces an escalating collection of presidency actions, creating confusion about its future in America.
Revived Dubsmash grows into TikTok’s imminent rival. (hyperlink)
TikTok lets exterior consultants study its moderation practices at its “transparency middle.” (hyperlink)
Senators introduce a invoice to limit using TikTok on authorities gadgets. (hyperlink)
TikTok brings in exterior consultants to craft content material insurance policies. (hyperlink)
TikTok introduces parental controls. (hyperlink)
TikTok tops two billion downloads. (hyperlink)
TikTok discloses how its content material advice system works. (hyperlink)
YouTube launches TikTok rival. (hyperlink)
Facebook shuts down TikTok rival Lasso. (hyperlink)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is seeking to ban TikTok. (hyperlink)
TikTok introduced a $200 million fund for U.S. creators. (hyperlink)
Trump instructed reporters he’ll use govt energy to ban TikTok. (hyperlink)
The second half of 2020: TikTok versus the U.S. authorities
After weeks of hypothesis, Trump indicators an govt order in August in opposition to ByteDance. ByteDance begins searching for American consumers for TikTok, however the firm additionally fights the manager order in court docket. A bunch of TikTok creators additionally file a lawsuit difficult the order. The previous few months of 2020 change into a relentless, and infrequently complicated, flurry of occasions and new developments for TikTok observers, for ever and ever.
Reports say ByteDance agrees to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations and Microsoft will take over. (hyperlink)
Trump alerts opposition to the ByteDance-Microsoft deal. (hyperlink)
Microsoft publicizes discussions in regards to the TikTok buy will full no later than September 15. (hyperlink)
Trump shifts tone and says he expects a reduce from the TikTok sale. (hyperlink)
TikTok broadens fact-checking partnerships forward of the U.S. election. (hyperlink)
August 7: In probably the most important escalation of tensions between the U.S. authorities and TikTok, Trump indicators an govt order banning “transactions” with ByteDance in 45 days, or on September 20. (hyperlink). TikTok says the order was “issued with none due course of” and would threat “undermining international companies’ belief within the United States’ dedication to the rule of legislation.” (hyperlink)
August 9: TikTok reportedly plans to problem the Trump administration ban. (hyperlink)
Oracle can be reportedly bidding for the TikTok sale. (hyperlink)
August 24: TikTok and ByteDance file their first lawsuit in federal court docket in opposition to the manager order, naming President Trump, Secretary of State Wilbur Ross and the U.S. Department of Commerce as defendants. The swimsuit seeks to stop the federal government from banning TikTok. Filed in U.S. District Court Central District of California (case quantity 2:20-cv-7672), it claims Trump’s govt order is unconstitutional. (hyperlink)
TikTok reaches 100 million customers within the U.S. (hyperlink)
August 27: TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigns after 100 days. (hyperlink)
Walmart says it has expressed curiosity in teaming up with Microsoft to bid for TikTok. (hyperlink)
August 28: China’s revised export legal guidelines may block TikTok’s divestment. (hyperlink)
China says it will relatively see TikTok shuttered than offered to an American agency. (hyperlink)
September 13: Oracle confirms it’s a part of a proposal submitted by ByteDance to the Treasury Department wherein Oracle will function the “trusted know-how supplier.” (hyperlink)
September 18: The Commerce Department publishes laws in opposition to TikTok that may take impact in two phases. The app will now not be distributed in U.S. app shops as of September 20, nevertheless it will get an extension on the way it operates till November 12. After that, nonetheless, it’s going to now not be capable to use web internet hosting providers within the U.S., rendering it inaccessible. (hyperlink)
On the identical day because the Commerce Department’s announcement, two separate lawsuits are filed in opposition to Trump’s govt order in opposition to TikTok. One is filed by ByteDance, whereas the opposite is by three TikTok creators.
The one filed by TikTok and ByteDance is in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (case quantity 20-cv-02658), naming President Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the Commerce Department as defendants. It is similar to the swimsuit ByteDance beforehand filed in California. TikTok and ByteDance’s legal professionals argue that Trump’s govt order violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the best to free speech, and due course of and takings clauses.
The different lawsuit, filed by TikTok creators Douglas Marland, Cosette Rinab and Alec Chambers, additionally names the president, Ross and the Department of Commerce as defendants. The swimsuit, filed within the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (case quantity 2:20-cv-04597), argues that Trump’s govt order “violates the primary and fifth amendments of the U.S. Constitution and exceeds the President’s statutory authority.”
September 19: One day earlier than the September 20 deadline that will have pressured Google and Apple to take away TikTok from their app shops, the Commerce Department extends it by every week to September 27. This is reportedly to provide ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart time to finalize their deal.
On the identical day, Marland, Rinab and Chambers, the three TikTok creators, file their first movement for a preliminary injunction in opposition to Trump’s govt order. They argue that the manager order violates freedom of speech and deprives them of “protected liberty and property pursuits with out due course of,” as a result of if a ban goes into impact, it will stop them from making earnings from TikTok-related actions, like promotional and branding work.
September 20: After submitting the D.C. District Court lawsuit in opposition to Trump’s govt order, TikTok and ByteDance formally withdraw their related pending swimsuit within the U.S. District Court of Central District of California.
September 21: ByteDance and Oracle affirm the deal however ship conflicting statements over TikTok’s new possession. TikTok is valued at an estimated $60 billion. (hyperlink)
September 22: China’s state newspaper says China gained’t approve the TikTok sale, labeling it “extortion.” (hyperlink)
September 23: TikTok and ByteDance ask the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to grant a preliminary injunction in opposition to the manager order, arguing that the September 27 ban eradicating TikTok from app shops will “inflict direct, rapid, and irreparable hurt on Plaintiffs in the course of the pendency of this case.” (hyperlink)
September 26: U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone denies Marland, Rinab and Chambers’ movement for a preliminary injunction in opposition to the manager order, writing that the three didn’t show “they may undergo rapid, irreparable hurt if customers and potential customers can’t obtain or replace” TikTok after September 27, since they may nonetheless be capable to use the app.
September 27: Just hours earlier than the TikTok ban was set to enter impact, U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols grants ByteDance’s request for a preliminary injunction whereas the court docket considers whether or not the app poses a threat to nationwide safety. (hyperlink)
September 29: TikTok launches a U.S. election information within the app. (hyperlink)
Snapchat launches a TikTok rival. (hyperlink)
TikTok says it’s imposing actions in opposition to hate speech. (hyperlink)
TikTok companions with Shopify on social commerce (hyperlink)
October 13: After failing to win their first request for a preliminary injunction, TikTok creators Marland, Rinab and Chambers file a second one. This time, their request focuses on the Commerce Department’s November 12 deadline, which they are saying will make it inconceivable for customers to entry or put up content material on TikTok if it goes into impact.
October 30: U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone grants TikTok creators Marland, Chambers and Rinab’s second request for a preliminary injunction in opposition to the TikTok ban. (hyperlink)
November 7: After 5 days of ready for vote counts, Joe Biden is said the president-elect by CNN, adopted by the AP, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox News. With Biden set to be sworn in as president on January 20, the way forward for Trump’s govt order in opposition to TikTok turns into much more unsure.
November 10: ByteDance asks the federal enchantment court docket to vacate the U.S. authorities’s divestiture order that will pressure it to promote the app’s American operations by November 12. Filed as a part of the lawsuit in D.C. District Court, ByteDance stated it requested the Committee on Foreign Investments within the United States for an extension, however hadn’t been granted one but. (hyperlink)
November 12: This is the day that the Commerce Department’s ban on transactions with ByteDance, together with offering web internet hosting providers to TikTok (which might cease the app from having the ability to function within the U.S.), was set to enter impact. But as a substitute the case turns into extra convoluted because the U.S. authorities sends combined messages about TikTok’s future.
The Commerce Department says it’s going to abide by the preliminary injunction granted on October 30 by Judge Beetlestone, pending additional authorized developments. But, across the similar time, the Justice Department information an enchantment in opposition to Beetlestone’s ruling. Then Judge Nichols units new deadlines (December 14 and 28) within the D.C. District Court lawsuit (the one filed by ByteDance in opposition to the Trump administration) for each side to file motions and different new paperwork within the case. (hyperlink)
November 25: The Trump administration grants ByteDance a seven-day extension of the divestiture order. The deadline for ByteDance to finalize a sale of TikTok is now December 4.
This timeline shall be up to date as developments happen.