It would help address the spyware concern by moving it to a US company, and give them a better foothold in Social Networking than Linked-in provides.
I'd have a few concerns about if MS can keep it growing-
For one, I worry that Microsoft may mismanage it, similar to how they treated Skype.
We saw Yahoo buy many reasonable smaller social networks (Flickr, Delicious, Tumblr) and was never able to make it work.
Microsoft has seemed to get better at acquisions lately though, so they may be able to pull it off.
The other concern is that youth-based social networks tend to have a short half-life; Snap isn't exactly taking over the world anymore.
But personally, I absolutely think it'd be worth the gamble.
The price is relatively low (just over 1 quarter of revenue), and if they can keep it going it's a good hedge against FB, if nothing else.
it might help for some people
Personally, i'm a little bit concerned that microsoft just received a $10bn DOD contract, and now the US government is essentially forcing a sale of TikTok to Microsoft. I'm not convinced that the company running the hot new social network (as well as all our source code) owing a bunch of favours to the US govermnent is really any better than it being subject to the Chinese government.
Yahoo was also an incompetent operator with almost no solid business criteria or long term strategy. For 15 years or more Yahoo was simply a wannabe Google and never managed to find their business character.
I mean, it’s almost criminal to compare the performance of Microsoft vs Yahoo as operators. They are in different leagues.
the odds that chinese goverment data collection ever affects me is minimal. as a canadian citizen who sometimes visits the US and routinely uses services provided by american companies, the odds that US government data collection affects me in some way is pretty high.
Does anyone else remember when housing data in US severs was considered less private than alternatives? It’s incredible that Azure, and the rest of the us based cloud providers, have been able to rebrand American severs as the cloud so successfully that they are well known for being secure and safe.
Right now much of Europe considers storing data in the US to be less private than hosting it locally. The US is certainly not in the same category as Russia or China, but it's not great either.
Disclaimer: I work in Azure but not on this, so my info may be wrong.
The example I like to give is the one given by John Hooker, who taught comparative culture at CMU. As it is, U.S. jokes are often not funny to many continental Europeans. Chinese humor is of a whole other bent.
Another interesting comparison point are Japanese websites, which are borderline unnavigable (to me) because they avoid any use of larger fonts.
Outlook pesters you for a Chinese phone number (internet phone doesn't work), probably so it's easier for the users to be tracked.
I assume they've made whatever CCP requirements are necessary in order to operate there.
That said, they'd at least protect western accounts in the US if they bought TikTok.
Like Github and LinkedIn, I think this would be a smart move. Microsoft has also been a lot better stewards of these companies than they were back in the days of the Skype acquisition (2011, Steve Ballmer time). It's still amazing the turn around they've had after Ballmer left, people underestimate the effect of bad leadership at the top.
Github is actively within Microsoft ecosystem and all for the better of both sides from my experience.
Xamarin was crap before the Microsoft acquisition, it was improving at great pace afterwards and it's pretty integrated into .NET standard story (but still crap last time I used it 3 years ago) - I don't even see how you could say anything like they left them alone, feels more like they got rolled up in to .NET devision, again for the better of both (Mono was still the only solution for some scenarios until very recently even outside of mobile)
Github is still Github.
Of course Microsoft played a part in the progress. Try to be more generous with your nitpicking.
Github is a separate issue, they can't rebrand without huge value loss.
Interestingly, it looks like Teams was at one point code-named "Skype Spaces" - a name which occasionally appears in Teams deep link URLs.
* see this job ad here: https://careers.microsoft.com/us/en/job/834482/Site-Reliabil...
The Teams comms/meeting stack was its own thing - an evolution (or frankenstein's monster mix) of Skype for Business and Skype Consumer technologies. That is one of the reasons why Teams did not have interop capabilities with SfB at launch.
Side note: The Skype for Business communications stack is a descendent of Lync/Office Communicator was completely separate from Skype Consumer (only thing it shared was branding).
Source: worked on Teams
If you don’t get it, pause for a moment, and think what would happen if China would suggest that Huawei should buy a successful Western service operating in China to avoid a national security risk.
Pompeo is right when he says that this is like another Cold War, but with just one big difference: it’s America that’s playing the role of Russia now.
For the US government, whose only concern is who does and doesn't get to harvest the data from any spyware, yes.
For everyone else, I'm not sure how that resolves any spyware concern.
So you're saying that GitHub isn't a social network for coding?
> 41 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24.
That seems rather youth-heavy when compared to Facebook (Timeline), Twitter, YouTube, Instagram.
Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it does come with risks.
Personally, I absolutely consider YouTube a video-based social network.
You follow people/brands, have at timeline, can contribute comments on what they post, etc.
It doesn't tend to have as broad a social graph as something like FB, but almost nothing does.
Twitter (for example) also has a large number of popular public accounts, similar to YouTube.
And there's the lede. Consider this "story in two headlines" from an earlier high-profile Microsoft acquisition:
"NSA offering 'billions' for Skype eavesdrop solution" https://www.theregister.com/2009/02/12/nsa_offers_billions_f...
"Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion. Why, Exactly?" https://www.wired.com/2011/05/microsoft-buys-skype-2/
It's been so nice to see five years or so of relatively GOOD acquisitions. LinkedIn made sense: it's allowed for a legitimate Salesforce compete, especially when paired with Dynamics. GitHub was incredibly smart and it aligns well with the resurgent dev tools division and the cloud. Even Beam (Mixer), which was an utter failure from an execution standpoint, made sense as a vertical integration play with Xbox. It failed, but the idea behind it was solid. The OpenAI investment and other AI initiatives have all made tons of sense. Buying Xamarin was brilliant.
But this? What about Microsoft has any of the same DNA as TikTok?
Insanity. I really, really hope this is just a bad joke and us being used by TikTok to juice offers from other people.
You’re talking about a company that made Halo and Minecraft the face of its consumer gaming brand, calls their AI assistant “Cortana”, and their internal windows builds “redstone”.
Tiktok doesn’t make sense if you think of Microsoft as “not a social media company”, but it’s a part of a push to engage the GenZ audience that started with the Minecraft acquisition.
I’m old enough to remember reading jokes on slashdot on wintel, but for the younger GenZ audience, that’s not what Microsoft is known for. The brand value isn’t in the enterprise stuff HN looks at, but in their consumer facing side.
Does microsoft execute well on their consumer side? Results seems mixed, with Xbox doing ok and Mixer crashing and burning. We’ll see how this plays out.
Minecraft was a good acquisition. Xbox, by and large, has made good acquisitions. But the rumor isn’t Xbox is buying TikTok, it’s Microsoft.
I would argue that with the exception of Xbox, Microsoft doesn’t have a strong consumer play and I would further argue it doesn’t need it. The re-emphasis on developer tools (GitHub, WSL2, Windows Terminal, Visual Studio Code) and productivity (Office 365 and M365, Power Platform) has been a boon for the business. Pure consumer pursuits like Cortana or Windows Phone or Groove Music have not worked.
We’re not a company that has social in our DNA. GitHub and LinkedIn are acquisitions that are run with various degrees of autonomy, but even as independent entities, neither was ever social the way Twitter or Facebook are.
When you talk about brand value for Gen Z, I understand what you’re saying, but I fully disagree chasing that potential value has legs. How many times has Microsoft tried to be “cool” over the last 45 years and how many times has it failed at it? Microsoft is at its most successful when it stops trying to chase trends and be cool and just focuses on the stuff it is good at.
Microsoft and the US government are at least more of a "devil you know" than China I'd say. Obviously far from ideal, but cutting off the CCP's direct access to the personal data and impressionable minds of millions of young people seems a pressing matter to me.
I mean ultimately my hope is that this dumb fad app's relevance just passes in 1 or 2 years. But considering how we've seen similar such abusive, shallow apps have long term success, that may be overly wishful thinking on my part.
How? Are you suggesting that Douyin will be included in the purchase?
The US has the right to ban companies from the country (as do other countries). What the US is saying is that the parent company (Bytedance) bust divest Tik Tok or they'll lose access to the US market. Microsoft is interested in it, but it could be a different company buying it. This is different than "you must sell this company to this other company" because the US can't force a foreign entity to do that (as long as that foreign government doesn't also cooperate due to politics of soft power reasons). In the case of China, Bytedance can absolutely refuse to sell Tik Tok, it'll just get banned from operating in the United States. Surely they'd rather take a few billion dollars instead, which is why they are going to sell it.
Actions like this or ones that are similar in spirit happen quite often. And naturally if you look at China, well, frankly, they are getting a taste of their own medicine in some sense.
"That order marked the sixth time a U.S. president has either blocked a deal or ordered a corporate selloff since Congress authorized the power to intervene in 1988."
WSJ - https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-sign-order-demanding-c...
I don't know the details of the others, but one that comes to mind (and maybe is mentioned in the article?) is the blocked acquisition of Qualcomm by Broadcom.
The circumstances around some of these may not be exactly the same, but the derivation of power comes from the same source.
Also who cares about the WTO? I don't see the WTO being involved when China forces majority-owned joint ventures or outright bans US companies from operating there. Why would a court be involved either? Bytedance is welcome to sue, I suppose, but Trump (in this case) has the power to issue this order. I guess if we don't like that since it's being used now, we should have Congress vote to take that power away from the current and future presidents.
I'm in favor of this move overall. Besides the toxicity of social networking in general, I just don't see a point in letting Chinese technology companies operate in the US unless it's strictly under favorable terms for us. If they don't like it, then I guess maybe they should let US companies operate freely in their country. This will increasingly end up happening and I say good. China will grow tech companies, and the US will force them to divest or not operate in the US once there is significant money at stake until China plays fair. If they don't want to, well, that's just no big deal. We're doing just fine.
Did you check? https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds549_e...
Discussions in the West tend to completely ignore these changes. For example, joint venture requirements have been removed from most sectors of the economy. Or to give another example, an entire legal system to protect and enforce IP has been set up in the last two decades or so, and that system is now very heavily used (including by foreign companies).
Worse, it cold be put into entity list, permanently removed from app store and play store.
How is that not extortion ?
Yes, the US government is mulling over the idea of banning TikTok but that is only one of the problems. The immediate problem is that US companies have seriously assessed the security risk. TikTok and China have a credibility problem in the business world.
TikTok shareholders sees the same risk and they want to protect their investment. Not odd or surprising.
Are you referring to something specific or this is a Bush doctrine sort of thing?
Foreign companies are free to not do business with the United States if they feel their company is likely to be expropriated. In practice 300m of the world's richest consumers make the US irresistible. Thus, OFAC is tolerated.
The thing that is notable is that the US has traditionally advocated for open markets and cross border ownership, but now is jumping on board with tactics it once campaigned against.
If TikTok wants the American/European market and they’d sell the company in order to so, that’s just the reality of working within the current geopolitical landscape.
Indeed. The real equivalent would be when China prohibited AWS from operating datacenters in China, forcing them to instead operate out of Chinese-owned datacenters.
To make it as illustrative as possible, your example is like the child of an American goes to work in China and China says, if you want to work, you need to use my shovel.
My example is like the child of a Chinese goes to work in America and America says you need to be adopted.
If you are worried about data leakage to China, you set rules and law and enforce them. That is what China is doing. They asked Apple and other cloud service provider to store data in China. The US could setup clear rules and regulations about where to put data of US users and if it is allowed to send the data to third country like China and then enforce them.
And China asked companies to set up jv in some sectors before they entered China market. They didn't do it after they were already here. Microsoft destroyed China's local word and spreadsheet editor software developers and China didn't ask MS to sell its China local business.
This act is pure bullying and imperialism. After that happens, the US wouldn't be able to command any support from Chinese people when it accuses CCP of anything.
You're well intended here, but ignorant of how China operates. There is literally no way to enforce what you suggest.
I lived in China for many years.
>The government can mandate spy code be inserted and any data they want.
Essentially true for US government with US companies too
In fact it's more about ensuring that data is living inside their legislative boundaries.
The servers are not owned by China/EU/US states; they're still owned by the companies that operate them, just the data isn't exfiltrated to be outside the reach of the police.
Jumping from authoritarian state, to "all companies are subject to secrete control by the state", that is already a quantum leap. If you believe what Soviet Union's state controlled economy collapsed, because it's impossible for state to control that much of details of the economy, then you must be having a great faith in Mr. Xijinping being a literal Super human, who can control "all companies".
Then to "branches of the military"?! Now you are saying that Mr. Xi Jingping is just a puppet of the military?! And Chinese military is so brilliant that they not even developed a powerful military force second only to US & Russian, and meanwhile, they actually runs "all companies"?!
I just cannot see any logic in this short statement...
Note that CCP does ensure private firms provide support for employees who are also party member to organize relevant activity.
State-owned company obviously has party committee, and except great control on personnel, like kind of a board.
China has discarded many of the Communist philosophies which held the USSR back. It is somewhat difficult to organize an economy when you intend to abolish money. And even harder when you refuse to optimize for profit! The PLA is under no such restrictions.
> And Chinese military is so brilliant that they not even developed a powerful military force second only to US & Russian, and meanwhile, they actually runs "all companies"?!
Then you haven't been paying attention, because yes, the People's Liberation Army owns and runs many businesses, with active duty officers serving as executives. State-owned enterprise is basically the only part of the whole Communism thing left.
I don't think anyone said Xi Jingping was a puppet other than you, but he remains president in part because the military supports the idea. Selling off their toys and firing officers from their side gigs risks losing that support.
And to be precise, "People's Liberation Army owns and runs many businesses" this is almost certainly a misunderstanding of the organizing structure.
Mr Deng Xiaoping deliberately not disallowing military involving business activities , in part it's because the military is starved from support and resources, and they need some form of self-sustaining to maintain the basic infrastructure, especially ensure the continuation of the talent development relevant to high-end military capability.
That was banned in Jiang Zeming's rule . In part, just like the purge done by Xi, was because military with its own finanical sources will become a plitical risk to the party head.
Today, there isn't any military owned business, officially. There are state-owned military equipment companies and research institutes. But their relationship with military is not too different from Locke-martin & US government & US military. (I mean, US system works better, right? Then CCP will happy to copy...)
Of course, there could be grey areas, and exceptions. But it should be common sense, here I repeat, military personnel cannot have financial support in their own control, that threatens the political leaders' authority.
If you can name one "active duty officers serving as executives", I'll be very surprised...
The US will continue to shed international credibility so long as we Americans continue to engage and enable mainstream discussion of conspiracy theories and populist applesauce. This Trabant quality excuse of an administration is just a symptom of that.
Honestly, I would not be surprised if the sole reason that this executive order is being banded about is because of TikTok users claiming they helped overinflate turnout expectations for that flameout of a rally in Tulsa.
I mean it is no different than the EU requiring US companies to host data in EU data centers.
China has banned so many US companies - why is it unfair to retaliate?
The use of economic power shouldn’t only be acceptable when done by corporations. Governments with a backbone should use it too (like the EU has done when appropriate)
Also it appears the 'national security' threat of tik-tok seem way overhyped, it is like a country speaking of Instagram as a national security threat.
Neither apple not Google has found TikTok problematic enough to pull it from their app stores.
Such claims of threat to 'national security', needs to be viewed with a certain skepticism, as these seems to get easily accepted by US lawmakers without sufficient, dispassionate analysis.
Also in general banning apps/services should not be the purview of the government under any reason. Why should the government dictate which apps an individual can use on their own phones/computers?
Stuff like this has happened all the time in plenty of democratic countries across the world. Not sure I see the issue (like my EU example). It’s just a state wielding economic power as opposed to a corporation.
Consistent rule of law allows economic actors to make proper planning and decisions. If the US wants to ban Chinese apps, it should pass a law saying that.
Right, isn’t that what a sale to Microsoft would essentially do?
The metaphor here doesn’t cover the fact that China has banned tons of American companies — should the US not respond in turn? I don’t know what the right response is tbh but I don’t think they should feel compelled to just shrug it off.
I do not buy that we should do anything by breaking our own constitutional guarantees, by letting the executive mislead the public in assuming powers that they simply do not have.
The President don't have authority to do this, and should not be having it in good sense.
America has never been a pure "free market," it's a mixed market, just like every current economy in the world.
The question is about how can something that isn't illegal or that hasn't evidently broken laws be banned, and that too without even a semblance of a fair process.
Was TikTok investigated, if so what was found? Have they been asked to show cause? Have they broken laws?
You see, China built the Great Fire Wall. A bizarre thing is more and more countries are considering to do the same seriously.
So what's next? There are also a lot of reports about the concentration camps. I don't know how accurate are those horrible reports, but you definitely don't want your country competing on building more concentration camps.
No it won't change a thing. And to be fair, forcing a sell (which is just forcing it to exit all stakes in the US market) is a far cleaner move than trying to end the company globally like it's doing for Huawei.
> This act is pure bullying and imperialism.
This is nothing compared to overthrowing Iran's democratic government to instate a puppet monarchy, helping the despot build 23 nuclear power plants, losing the puppet to revolution because the CIA assisted secret police killed too many people, claiming the built power plants are evidence of nuclear ambitions, sanctioning the country against UN resolutions, then using the economic aggression as justification to chain imperialize against other people such as Meng Wanzhou who was arrested unlike the CFOs of Banco do Brasil, Bank of America, Bank of Guam, Bank of Moscow, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Clearstream Banking, Commerzbank, Compass, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, JP Morgan Chase, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Pakistan, PayPal, RBS, Société Générale, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Trans-Pacific National Bank, Standard Chartered, Wells Fargo, Ericsson, Nokia who all transact with Iran.
And this is an arrest based on the accusation that she did not disclose (she did, on page 6 of her HSBC powerpoint) Huawei's transactions with Iran in her HSBC loan. The same HSBC with a non-arrested CFO who transacted with Iran and whose drug trafficking heat from the US magically disappeared after snitching their client.
The world will sleep through this like the world slept through the same round of tariffs, executive arrests, banning suppliers and technologies like we did to Japan in the 80s.
Iran has one nuclear power plant, and it opened in 2011. It was built mostly by the Russians.
This is the first sentence
By 2012, Iran had roughly 400 power plant units
The Shah approved plans to construct up to 23 nuclear power stations by 2000. In March 1974, the Shah envisioned a time when the world's oil supply would run out, and declared, "Petroleum is a noble material, much too valuable to burn ... We envision producing, as soon as possible, 23,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear plants."
Advertisement from the 1970s by American nuclear-energy companies, using Iran's nuclear program as a marketing ploy
US and European companies scrambled to do business in Iran. Bushehr, the first plant, would supply energy to the city of Shiraz. In 1975, the Erlangen/Frankfurt firm Kraftwerk Union AG, a joint venture of Siemens AG and AEG, signed a contract worth $4 to $6 billion to build the pressurized water reactor nuclear power plant. Construction of the two 1,196 MWe, and was to have been completed in 1981.
Can't tell if the GGP is disagreeing because it's suggesting that the US can only impose "nuclear ambitions" sanctions on finished commercially operational nuclear power plants rather than nuclear development in general.
TikTok is operated by the TikTok office in the U.S. ByteDance is incorporated in Cayman islands so Chinese laws do not have any jurisdiction over TikTok office. There is no way for Chinese government to force their censorship rules and steal data from TikTok data stored in the US. Unless tiktok employees in the US office hands the data to China. But TikTok employees in the US office are all American. The CEO of TikTok is Kevin Mayer. The content regulation team is staffed with American employees. Data is stored in US servers and backed up in Singapore. TikTok is hiring more in the US office to develop TikTok going forward. TikTok also plans to experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms. Source: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/fair-competition-and-trans...
Source: Bytedance corporate structure https://www.bytedance.com/en
But the US gov is not giving TikTok any opportunity to explain themselves. Whatever Bytedance management can do, there is no way for them to shake off the belief that TikTok sends data to the US government.
As for ByteDance, the founder of Bytedance is a Chinese national. But the board member also includes non Chinese people. Chinese people do not all agree with the government. And Chinese people definitely do not want to work for or help the government unless absolutely required under Chinese law. Chinese people enjoy freedom and distance from Chinese government as well. A lot of Chinese people admire the US for its rule of law, its innovation and the general classiness when doing things. This is especially true in the entrepreneur and technology scene in China, where the US is often looked up to. People want to be friendly. No one wants to undermine the U.S. No one wants to be associated with the government or work as a spy to steal data.
But now they are caught between politics in China, ideology battle, and geopolitics.They are seeing their hard work going down the drain, and asking themselves "Probably my biggest crime is born in mainland China". No matter what they do, they cant shake off people's belief that they work for the Chinese government. Its a profound feeling of hopelessness.
It is hard for me to feel bad for one Chinese company banned from operating in the US when China has banned thousands of US companies.
The founders of TikTok should blame Chinese government, it's 100% their fault that the US is retaliating. I am glad US is finally standing up to their unfair restrictions.
Which companies are you talking about?
> This is pure retaliation against China for not allowing US companies to operate there.
American companies have a massive presence in China. There's nothing comparable to it in the US. Imagine walking into a mall in an American city, and half the stores being Chinese. The reverse is the case in China.
Citation needed. And just because they're American doesn't mean that they won't send data to China.
I think Trump administration is them problem. It is amazing to see how much a single term of an irrational president could damage a country in almost every aspects.
Quote: Eventually what happened was that, as China’s domestic copyright industries found themselves competing with cheap knock-offs of foreign goods, they pressed the Chinese government to fortify the IP enforcement process on its own. (To put this in perspective, this is also what happened a century earlier in the US, which until 1890 failed to protect foreign works, and then waited yet another century before joining the major international copyright treaty.)
Let's just not pretend that IP theft was not prosecuted, and IP was not protected in China. That's simply not possible in such a fast-growing economy, which we can all agree that can only be sustained through innovation.
I think the fear is the manipulation that social media platforms can easily do of discourse and emotions. This is not as simple as just selling word processing software.
We have seen manipulation on US's own social media platforms by actors not even inside the company. Imagine a government which has supreme control on the companies on its own soil, imagine what it can do. I would say the fear is well founded, the solution to is not.
In case of the companies under free governments and justice systems, this becomes hard as any FB employee can go out and use the free press to expose if any manipulation like this is ordered.
The US was really the shining city on the hill before 2008 financial crisis. I personally was huge admirer of the US system. I even spent about 1 year in DC just to study the political system of the US.
Before the 2008 financial crisis, China tried to copy everything from the US, from finanical market regulations to education system and to some degree, political system reform. There was a period when academics and even some very senior CCP members called for small government, separation of party and administrative system, and they even used the term 'put power into cages'.
The 2008 financial crisis that started in the US made China's elites within the party and outside of the party think hard if the US system is really the answer. Trump administration, the handling of covid-19 and the BLM protests further changed the view towards the US and made it impossible for those friendly with the US to promote the US value system in China now.
Tiktok is considered a national pride because it thrives by open competition in the US and the world. This act of forced selling without a due process for Tiktok to defend itself from accusation of spying for China would absolutely be another huge blow to the credibility of the US in China.
It has nothing to do with financial crises or BLM or whatever. Financial crisis also happened in 2001 and 80's, they happen all the time. BLM protests are insignificant, US has protests constantly because they are not restricted by government.
Handling of COVID is bad, and most of us don't like Trump. But Xi's anti west propaganda is very real and influences all Chinese news and social media. Xi has massively ramped up rhetoric against the west and especially US. That is why majority of Chinese don't respect the US anymore.
You can see Xi saber rattling with US, building basesin South China Sea. Troop fights with India. Bullshit with Tibet Dali llama. Uighur re-education camps. Crackdown on Hong Kong. There's many more. This is why relations with US are going bad. Xi is pissing everyone off to drum up patriotism in China and make Chinese direct anger at foreigners instead of problems with Chinese government
I don't know where you got that from. CCP stopped long ago painting the US / western countries as enemies and sources of today's problems of China.
The fact is, Chinese and China in general are much less ideology sensitive now. Given current hostilities from the US, CCP propaganda and China's new medias still haven't called for hate of the US at ideology level. There were hash words against the US, but all targeting very specific actions, for example shutting down of Huston consulate, and specific person, for example Pompeo. There is no ideology level attack.
It is a very large topic to discuss why and when Chinese people stopped admiring the US. I would only say it all started in 2008 financial crisis. It was then China's elites, here I mean both the ones educated in the western countries and the ones with no foreign education background, started to question the soundness of the financial market regulation system of the US and corruption of the US politicians, and then everything else. And when China could produce its own hero startups and entrepreneurs, like Jack Ma of Alibaba, Pony Ma of Tencent, Yiming Zhang of ByteDance, Lei Jun of Xiaomi etc., Chinese people feel more confident that its own system might just work. And Trump administration and the handling of covid19 are the latest blow. CCP doesn't really need to do anything.
All the other matters you mentioned like South China Sea, disputes with India, Xinjiang etc. aren't new problems. They have been there for ages. They are not the factors driving the changes.
A wave of nationalism has swept the western world. From Trump in the US, to Brexit, to numerable populist nationalist parties turning mainstream in Europe (AFD, Front National, Sverigedemokraterna etc.) all stemming out of the frustration of lack of prospects for the common man.
Rather than going to the root cause populist nationalism blames the other; the Chinese, the immigrants, the scientist, the media. And let conflict drive the agenda.
Incredible that it is a widely held view in the west that it is changed Chinese politics (the rise of Xi) that has bought forward the change.
Unfortunately I don't think things will get better any time soon.
They might even accelerate further.
Except the law is essentially "whatever CCP wants to do" since the only political entity which can affect its legislation process is CCP. And yes, it's intentionally vague so it can allow CCP to exercise its power in an arbitrary way.
Just like the double standard on delaying the election, it's ok to delay election due to COVID in US, but it's perfectly fine to condemn other places for doing the same.
It would be very interesting to see how how ppl or historian view this 10 years later.
This is for tit for tat. The United States is an open society. Why should we let an authoritarian regime gains influence over my country?
Simultaneously, TikTok has captured the daily attention spans of millions of Americans, many of them especially young and impressionable. They've captured their attention in the form of a black box algorithm that promotes content in whichever way TikTok deems most appropriate.
These two facts mean that the Chinese government now has direct access to the brains of millions of young Americans, with zero oversight. Imagine China subtly promoting videos to create outrage and civil unrest in the US, or to feed anti-US propaganda to germinate terrorist groups in the US. These might sound like far flung possibilities, but I think it's hard to say what a country that views the US as its enemy (politically, economically, philosophically) might do with that kind of power, and I don't think we can wait to find out.
Ironically this idea is one of the rationale behind the GFW. Dont want any Spring/colour revolution over there.
our president is doing a fine job of that now with his twitter account.
I mean, Youtube and Facebook already do this, and nobody has a problem with it. Do foreign-owned businesses not have first amendment rights?
I should also point out that honest journalistic reporting of the reality in the US is more than sufficient to create outrage and civil unrest in the US.
Restricting foreign media based on "propaganda" fears is not a behavior that free societies engage in.
Ugh no. TikTok's recommendation algorithm works the way it does because of its userbase's preference. TikTok is NOT free to change it willy-nilly. At best TikTok can "steer" the algorithm.
Now I'm not saying this is necessarily true, but I think that is where the concern is coming from.
This seems like a dumb move, why would MS want to get tied up in the horrors of social media when they have such a profitable empire.
They couldn’t possibly tie in MicMok to Office 365 and have anything good come from it.
Microsoft Re-Designs the iPod Packaging
They bought LinkedIn, which increasingly resembles a niche social media for professionals, all the way down to a news feed that is increasingly filled with motivational junk
Then there's Github, which used to advertise itself as "social coding".
Microsoft has done plenty already to get their foot in the door of social media.
Because it's a business operating after Wall Street decided that perpetual growth was not only a realistic expectation for stocks, but a mandatory one as well.
First idea: Facebook's earnings over the past few years.
If this is true, it makes sense not from what MS is today but what they want to become.
Remember the I'm a Mac I'm a PC ads? MS was branded as uncool, boring and not creative and that mindset probably influenced a lot of Apple's adoption in the mobile space.
Microsoft wants to go where the money is and get the mindshare of younger generations who will have money to spend a few years down the line.
They just sold their Mixer platform to Facebook.
If they can't manage correctly a game streaming platform, I don't see them be able to take on a video social network one.
Made my day ... thank you
I don't want to debate the politics, security issues or your judgement of the content. I want whoever comes up with the next killer app to learn from what they were able to achieve because they hit an amazing product market fit and I'm hoping the HN crowd can at least understand that. /rant
a) why do you interpret that as a reward?
b) what leads you to believe those views are real or even meaningful?
I can understand why someone might not care about having some level of "internet fame." But I can't really understand how someone can not get how that can be rewarding to many.
Do you understand why people are rewarded by an audience applauding them? Do you understand why a musician would be excited to hear their song on the radio?
As for how they know the views are real... do you think TikTok is just faking them?
Rewarding: Creators would also be interested in how engaged those viewers are. How well can this traffic convert into services which the creator might offer outside of TikTok? Would that traffic be worth the time of creating professional videos?
Real: This is a great question. Are the views real? I still have the story of Facebook faking video engagement numbers fresh in my brain. There's an argument that Facebook may be responsible for setting off the wave of intrusive auto-play video around the web.
I guess these are things which marketers will be working on, assuming the US doesn't block the application.
This is NOT for professional videos. The whole point is just regular people showcasing some small talent they might have hidden away and thru the algorithm you start to discover these amazingly talented regular people that the other platforms have failed.
If I want to see the celebs, brands or professionally shot content I have FaceGram/YouTube/Vimeo for that. This app is for the rest of us until the celebs/brands come in and inevitably ruin it. Hopefully by then, one of you HN folks will have built the next one.
I've asked the question because I really don't understand the point the OP or you were trying to make. My question was very straight-forward: why do you feel that counter a) has any meaning, specially as a reward, b) is even real. Could you please shine a light on this?
After all, even the OP admitted that the counter was not a result of something users did or a reflection of the value of your contribution. The Op framed it as being a number that was gifted to you for no reason. Why do you see any value in it?
As a result, I don't think traffic was given to me for absolutely no reason but there is a component of luck that they are explicit about which makes it even more compelling to creators. Compared to FB/IG/YouTube where I have to pay influencers or ad networks to get my work seen, they've evened the playing field a bit if my content has enough "inertia". It just motivates me to create better content next time and to try more often. You see how they're getting creators addicted?
b) They're real in that I get tens of thousands of comments and people actually reply. Most of the comments are reactions and jokes but I enjoy the thought that someone took the time to comment just like how I'm enjoying having a discussion here on HN. Whether or not it's meaningful is entirely subjective but probably goes back to my answer in a) - I appreciate the attention.
With so much good high content available on the internet and how little time people have, it saddens me that so much time is spent on the low quality noise.
> With so much good high content available on the internet and how little time people have, it saddens me that so much time is spent on the low quality noise.
No, that's unfair, you are saying all of tiktok content is low quality noise, which is wrong
In the board world of "video content", yes it is. It might be better than FB/Instagram/Twitter videos, but those and Tiktok pale in comparison to, say, HBO. Tiktok is gifs with sound filmed on a cell phone with a refreshing take on recommendations optimized for stickiness. It's the McDonalds of video content; maybe better than the niche it competes in, but its still garbage in a very convenient package. As far as the videos are concerned, they're very low quality compared to what the medium is capable of.
You might point at YouTube and how it's different here by boosting high quality content, but this is a) because they are running a lot of ads and are as such interested in curating content that advertisers would like their ads to run on and b) because they don't target the cellphone exclusively, so you can actually invest in a proper setup for your videos regarding camera, lighting, set, video editing.
The thing is that I can't see how TikTok can be profitable in the long run. Because of the low quality, low effort videos, it's much less attractive to advertisers, since the risk of ending up on controversial content is high. YouTube went through two or three iterations of this, each time refining their requirements for having a video eligible to have ads on it.
That's pseudo-intellectual arrogance.
Even some PhD laugh about stupid memes.
Also: facebook/insta/tw is mainly about re sharing, not producing.
You're out of line here. It is what it is, and just pointing out that stuff made with cheap passive fast mass consumption in mind is not arrogance or pseudo-intellectual. Complaining that bubblegum is not nutritional as a good meal at a nice restaurant is not pseudo-intellectual arrogance. You may argue that they have different usecases in mind but that's not an intellectual argument, nor an arrogant statement. Your attempts to resort to name-calling and ad-hominem attacks also don't help your case or even your ability to support your accusation.
And HBO pales in comparison to live theatre. But that's pretty irrelevant.
I mean, just list the top 10 tiktoks ever, or even top 100... rank them on metrics like content, depth, purpose, knowledge. Then compare them to other platforms or content formats. It'll rank quite low.
Of course if you rank it on other things like stickiness/addictiveness, fun, humor, aesthetic, novelty etc, it'll rank perhaps quite high for what it is (3-10 seconds usually)
I think in the end it really depends what you're looking for when deciding whether something is low-quality noise.
I agree that it is an insane time killer. But that is because the content is so good and presented in and addictive way.
> Consumers (audience) side: Tik Tok use AI to calculate what content will be the best fit for the consumer. When consumer use the app, consumers even do not need to put their preference. AI will automatically get a sizeable database of the consumers’ behaviors.
And so strange to see that everyone assumes that TikTok can be taken apart by a competitor (Triller) paying top creators to shift platform and the rest will just go to Instagram or YouTube.
If you spend some time on TikTok you will notice that the experience is actually not orientated around top creators but is guided by algorithm that entertains you in personalised manner.
What you are seeing not necessary new, not necessary from someone within your social graph.
It is really is something quite different from older social media.
It usually starts out that way with any centralized for-profit communications platform. They wouldn't want to spring the trap before luring you in.
The absolute creepiest part is that anyone can browse and fully download any video without even logging in. You would have to be completely naive to think that there aren’t a million pedophiles on TikTok everyday downloading content of teenage girls and boys twerking to Nicki Minaj songs without a trace. All while we sit back and laugh about it like we’re on Facebook circa 2009.
I’m not sure I see the synergies MSFT gets from TikTok - a Snap Inc., makes more sense as a buyer to me.
Hard disagree on the OP.
It’s like every social network starts out (more positive, no ads), but it has especially lowest-common-denominator content.
It’s brilliantly engineered to suck your time away, I’m genuinely very impressed how manipulative it is, really a big step up. And at least one young relative is totally addicted to it, far beyond anything I’ve seen with other networks, so it works.
Isn't that more reason to enjoy it while it's still great? Early youtube was fantastic, vine was a joy while it lasted, etc.
> but it has especially lowest-common-denominator content
Disagree. The whole point of having highly specialized recommendation algo is exactly to avoid LCD content. If I see low quality content, I instantly mark it as "uninterested". I have not seen a single "dance video" in almost a year. LCD happens on popularity based systems, TikTok's system is based on your specific usage pattern.
> It’s brilliantly engineered to suck your time away
Again, yes and no. It's engineered to match your preference. Personally, I have trained my to give me quality content. Of course it technically wastes my time. So does hackernews, but I still consider it great use of my relaxing time.
No, these things are literally engineered to maximize engagement. Preferences are complicated, and we often actually prefer to consume less content... or at least would prefer to prefer to do so. Apps don’t measure that, they see eyeballs and maximize.
Both can be true though. Personally I only engage with educational and non-low effort content, and that's what the algorithm feeds me. By definition, my engagement comes from non-low effort content, so to claim that TikTok pushes for low effort content is just plain false.
(I haven't used TikTok in a bit, so maybe this meme has died out)
If you anger the CCP in Hong Kong through its approved social networks, well you are going to be found out.
Which is a huge feature. Unlike YouTube, for example, TikTok videos tend to have no boring intros
The Chinese government is running forced sterilization, reeducation, and internment campaigns against Uighurs. They’re arresting people for being critical of the government online based on dragnet surveillance.
Again, I’m not defending the US on these points - we’re running concentration camps too, and the fourth amendment is under assault, but there are important differences of scale and severity.
Like, what emails, button clicks, phone calls, etc, is involved in changing the ownership of the iOS app from one party to another? Presumably it's a different process from like, a toy app with zero downloads?
This will be the beginning of the end of MS. (As opposed to the middle of the end of a very drawn out decline.)
I’m sure they see it as another Skype. The US govt subsidizing an acquisition to get access to data.
TikTok optimizes hard for popularity which involves many unpleasant choices in their algorithm. MS will feel compelled to ‘fix’ this both for a perceived social good but also for the benefit of the US government who is no doubt subsidizing this.
MS will become a target for lobbying by interest groups and the US government to a degree it has never dealt with and I don’t think MS can handle it. This is not the same as criticism for being a monopoly or making crappy software.
The best case scenario will be they screw with the algorithm early enough and bad enough that people leave en mass.
These are the same people who couldn’t leave Skype alone.
But most undoubtedly, the creativity and innovation that tiktok can further yield will disappear. And this will lay the next foundation for another company to take over.
Facebook or Google would be worse, but Microsoft is only marginally less bad here.
Meanwhile the largest company in the world by Q1 2020 market cap, a company that was found to be in violation of the antitrust act in the past, a company which now owns the most popular social network for business is about to acquire a significant part of the fastest growing social media platform.
Microsoft is a platform company; they do not "get" social media or user engagement (e.g. MSN, which has sputtered on feebly for years) so they'll wind up tanking TikTok for sure.
I'm a huge fan of competition and the free market. Consolidating social media platforms under ever-larger corporate banners is just bad.
For those who are skeptical, just watch the Vice doc on how China tracks people, it's on a whole another level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLo3e1Pak-Y
For example, are they allowed to offer board/executive position to Zhang Yiming (original owner of Bytedance)?
No comment on the potential TikTok acquisition by MSFT from me, but your quote reminds me of a lot of HN comments and opinions I heard elsewhere, but regarding Zuck and his WhatsApp and Instagram acquisition.
Everyone was pretty much clowning him as figuratively the dumbest man on earth who was simply lucky to make a ton of money off Facebook, who now was just throwing that money around at random acquisitions without having any idea what he was doing. A lot of people were also saying that it was all just out of desperation on his end, given that Facebook was going to die any moment soon. Six years later, most people agree that it was one of the smartest decisions he could've made.
In a similar vein, think back to when MSFT acquired Minecraft.
For TikTok however I think there are two concerns. Number one would be the political situation between USA and China. Number two would be the fact that Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Twitter, WeChat and so on have already captured so much of whatever there is to capture in this market. I would be surprised if TikTok became the next WhatsApp, I think it's much more likely to be the next Snapchat or Viber.
If I had to buy a Chinese company, it would be Huawei. But Microsoft would find a way to kill that too.
Damn BusinessInsider... showing me a popup over the article on mobile saying:
> Sorry for the wait.
We’re experiencing tremendous demand right now. The page will reload in 30 seconds and you will then get a chance to buy your access.
... after the article was already fully loaded. That’s some serious anti-consumer dark pattern bullshit.
Looks like a desperate deal pushed by TikTok to get rid of "Chinese spyware" tag.
The deal makes no absolute sense.
More bullish take... potentially the next YouTube.
For one thing, user gesture data or user action data can be automated with 3D software. Provides a far better set of training data.
Data for targeted advertisements? Microsoft is hardly in that business of selling ads.
I understand Mojang, because Minecraft is a platform that engages kids in meaningful ways. But TikTok is an app to waste time and shit post.
Not sure I get what that means.
>I understand Mojang, because Minecraft is a platform that engages kids in meaningful ways. But TikTok is an app to waste time and shit post.
Kids are definitely engaging in meaningful and interesting ways on TikTok. It would be an incredible overgeneralization to say otherwise. Is there a bunch of crap on there too? Sure, but you can write off the internet with the same logic. Crap is also fun, which has some value too.
The content on early YouTube wasn't what we have today either...
Generation of video clips of human gestures, by automating a 3D modeling software, like Blender, will give you not only the video, but also depth and other data related to the video.
If you are looking for sources to train your model to recognize depth / gestures, videos from TikTok are far less useful, than generating your own ones by automating or programming them.
Regardless my point on the data aspect of the acquisition wasn't meant to be the reason for the actual value of TikTok for Microsoft.
Sure, teens and kids are using it, but it feels like people will grow out of it.
Nobody knows, but it's worth a gamble.
And, FB has morphed into more than just a way to meet friends. It has become the town square for the village idiot to shout at the top of his lungs as to how UFOs are implanting DNA into the cattle.
I myself hardly ever log in to my account and haven't even posted anything on my "wall" (remember when that used to be term?) in nearly a decade, but I still find myself visiting the Marketplace whenever I need to occasionally buy/sell something or find a new apartment.
Microsoft already tried to take on Twitch, with Mixer, and failed. (Gamers will probably be wary about jumping onto Microsoft's next doomed platform.)
And anecdotally, Discord replaced Skype for a lot of people in the gaming community, and I don't see people leaving it very easily.
It seems like Phil Spencer had a meeting with the affected ex-employee but nothing came out of it.
Adding on to that, a leaked town hall video really painted a grim image of the company and the management internally.
Having live streaming built into the xbox platform + tiktok as a brand and audience would be a much more power combo than just mixer alone.
I don't believe Mixer was shut down because of bad management though, if the people in charge weren't getting results, then Microsoft would have just replace them.
TikTok presumably hits a broad audience that Office / Outlook / Teams do not.
Also, does it make sense to pay the rumoured $50 billion for a company with no moat? Even US revenue expectations for this year were $0.5 billion.
I don’t know how reputable the source is.
He doesn't say the source, only reports it, so not sure what the issue is here.
You can even see it in the headline to this story: "Sources speculate one name to buy TikTok is Microsoft"
It completely deletes all their digital trust.
There is no law to prohibit an app of being used in US, and there is no evidence TikTok broke any existing law operating within US. All the talking point being so far is because it's a chinese company.
This is literally how black people was treated.
It's interesting to see how protectionism change the country brand of equal business opportunity and spirit of the law.
Tit for tat restrictions are standard practice with international trade and not evidence of racism.
Bytedance is incorporated in the Cayman islands. Yes it is founded by a Chinese national, but it also have non-Chinese people on its board and in the management. And Chinese people do not all agree with the government, or ccp's ideology push.
Bytedance has a Hongkong subsidiary to manage mainland China business, one of them is douyin. And U.S. subsidiary to manage Tiktok. Douyin and TikTok are separate products, no data is shared between them. The U.S. subsidiary is managed by Americans and employs American. Content regulation is managed by Americans, Data is stored in the U.S. Tiktok is planning for outside review of the data security and algorithms for recommendation system. There is no way Chinese government can force their censorship on to tiktok. Why would TikTok employees agree to Chinese government's demands? They are Americans living in America. How will Chinese government enforces their demands? The only thing they could do is force shutting down Douyin in China or arrest the Bytedance's management in they reside on Chinese soil. But if that happens it would be another news story. There is no legal means for which Chinese government can exert control over Tiktok. Therefore I don't think Tiktok being forced to censor speech or hand data to Chinese government is really realistic.
Source: https://www.bytedance.com/en/ see corporate structure
> TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned social network, instructs its moderators to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or the banned religious group Falun Gong, according to leaked documents detailing the site’s moderation guidelines.
Stop with this propaganda please.
If tiktok has child porn or some other illegal stuff, i'm totally fine with blocking it. But in this case, the only evidence so far is, it's a chinese app, not because it's breaking any law.
NSA has pretty bad records of spying all over the world, and all US companies have to work with US judicatory system under the court permission. In that convention, all over the world should have blocked US companies.
> I don't see how this is similar to treating black people
Because their skin is black, not because there is evidence of any law breaking, they are treated differently.
I don't want to get into uighurs talk, "reeducation camp" could as well be a more restrict boarding school under different context, but this is not related.
"President Donald Trump plans to announce a decision ordering Bytedance to divest its U.S. ownership of TikTok, according to people familiar with the matter. The U.S. has been investigating potential national security risks due to the Chinese company’s control of the app. Trump’s decision could be announced as soon as Friday, said the people."
Microsoft Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy TikTok in U.S.
I think it's a bad idea because I think TicTok is only a year or two away from their peak until another app catches the zeitgeist.
The kids will always move on to something else.
Strategically the only thing that matters is that TikTok is removed from foreign ownership and that that weak spot in US Internet dominance is removed, so the US can resume global hegemony over platforms (outside of China).
Microsoft generates enough cash every year to safely buy a TikTok annually.
The US Government is probably throwing Microsoft a wink on this one. Despite generating $53 billion pear year in operating income and still having a desktop monopoly, Microsoft was excluded from the recent government grilling.
Maybe Microsoft will get a nice Azure contract in return.
In a year or a few, Microsoft IPOs TikTok or works with private equity to shift its ownership and then Microsoft washes their hands of it, taking a small bath in the process (if they can pull an IPO fast enough, given this market, maybe even making some money on the deal). Sometimes you gotta do a favor for Uncle Sam.
This has happened previously in history (mainframe -> PC, back to Cloud Computing, and now to edge/IoT).
If you want to "skate where the puck is going" you would be paying attention to the open web standards space.
I think imgur has better variations.
I get that there’s a national security angle to this, but I imagine there would be outrage if he unilaterally decided to break up Facebook, for example.
In fact, it's even possible that the government is involved in this purchase in some form, by either using their good standing as big MS customers (how many federal employees run Windows+Ms Office computers?), or by offering money directly, something that is purported to have happened when Microsoft purchased Skype a few years ago. Getting rid of E2EE for Skype, which Microsoft eventually did, was a big request of the US intelligence community.
Ultimately it'd be a good resolution to the issue. No more spying by China and American teenagers can safely continue using the app.
Congratz on new cat Mike!
They're targetting different demographics, and are used very differently (Job searching vs short-form videos).
I guess anything makes sense to a company that paid $26 billion USD for LinkedIn.
Markets are a means to an end, not something to fetishize.
Money is just information about usefulness. If you are useful to other people you've got money. If someone is useful to you, you give money.
Yeah. Symbian, Meego,..
Is there data to support that this was overvalued? Not personally a big fan of LinkedIn, but it seemed like probably a good long-term buy for Microsoft.
Even if I charitably apportion 1B profit (which I bet Microsoft would trumpet if that was a thing), that's 20+ years to make the 26B back.
My bigger problem with LinkedIn is that it's a cesspool of recruiter spam.
Lynda.com was the only worthwhile part of it, and I wonder if that's still around/popular.
I'm also bitter about them calling Windows Phone too expensive to keep going at around the same time, so I might be a bit biased :-)
Isn't a valuation at ~5 years revenue pretty standard for a business acquisition?
What happens if MSFT buy TikTok only for the users to migrate to the new flavour of the social media app.
I expect most users will migrate eventually. TikTok had its charms because it was completely mismanaged. The discover feed had a mix between popular (>1M likes) and very unpopular (1-30 likes) videos and very odd videos, like someone slowly crushing a hornet to death inside a syringe, get popular often. Microsoft tends to have a "digital gentrification" effect on the services they take over; for example, when they bought Minecraft, they stopped adding `- removed Herobrine` to update logs. To a lot of fans it showed a lack of respect to the game and its culture. Many older players even refuse to play any Microsoft-created Minecraft versions because they changed a lot of core gameplay mechanics.
This same effect will probably hit their acquisition of TikTok. They'll make it so pro-equality posts make it to the feed more often (TikTok has a semi-4chan-ish culture around its humor rather than an "accepting" environment, though a minority of users are actually bigoted), polish the horrid UX, make good video effects rather than the very odd choices available now, and I expect they'll make it so videos can be longer (the default length is 15 seconds but you can make videos up to 60). This would ruin TikTok. The limitations imposed by TikTok's designers are crucial for fostering creativity (in my opinion, but I've made literally hundreds of videos on the platform). Without them, TikTok is just another video app.
One more thing- most TikTok users despise America. America, to the youth, is a rich bastard bully of a country with military bases across the world despite no other country having bases in America. They believe being spied on by China is preferable to being spied on by America; if you're spied on by China, what are they gonna do, try to send you propaganda? If you're spied on by America and they don't like you, they just send cops in plainclothes to your house to shoot you, and the cops don't even get charged. Even if Microsoft doesn't hurt TikTok, TikTok's further association with America alone will be enough to make users move.
Why is that a mismanagement? You said it yourself, it has its charms. (And I agree with you.) What is the goal of discover feed if not to have "its charms"? To the contrary, I think TikTok's discover feed is genius. It is very well managed, and I hope it doesn't change.
Well of course it is. All American social media allows the American intelligence services to surveil just about every person on this planet.
No other nation has ever had this power.
As an aside, TikTok is the happiest & most enjoyable social network I've frequented,
a few seconds to show off some talent is a great way to burn some downtime with unique entertainment. Would hate to see it fragmented & acquired, especially to a US giant.
I'm meaning to say the world needs more diversity of powerful tech companies away from US Tech giants, that's relevant today.