Dividends and US lawmakers grill TikTok CEO over data security

Every once in a while, the younger generation embraces something that the older generation (typically the parents’ age) does not quite understand. The classic example is music and rock and roll. The parents never really understood the music, but the examples quickly follow into other media such as books and movies and now phone content. If you think about vampire movies, they have been around, but generally came out around Halloween, but for a few years the movies and shows were popular all year around. On the smart phone, every year the quality of the camera and the ease of uploading video content is easier with each new phone. The ease means there are apps which take advantage of the upgrades including TikTok. With everything that is popular, there are doubting Thomas or conspiracy theories which may or may not be correct. At the moment., there is a political party which embraces conspiracy theories or gives the theories a platform in Washington.

In an article by Halleuya Hadero and Farnoush Amiri of the Associated Press, US lawmakers grilled the CEO of TikTok over data security and harmful content. The conspiracy theory behind TikTok is the company is owned by ByteDance. While ByteDance was originally owned by Chinese based companies its ownership now includes institutional companies such as Caryle Group.

CEO Shou Zi Chew noted over 150 million Americans use TikTok and the company is currently switching the data to servers maintained and owned by software giant Oracle.

Emile El Nems an analyst at Moody’s Investor Service, said a ban on TikTok would benefit rivals YouTube, Instagram and Snap sending more advertising dollars to American big tech companies.

David Kennedy, a former government intelligencer officer who runs the cybersecurity company TrustedSec, agreed on restricting TikTok access on government issued phones, but a nationwide ban might be too extreme. Some of the biggest tech companies such as Tesla, Microsoft and Apple have operations in China, what would they do?

Linking to dividend paying stocks, all companies are dependent on actions taken by government whether in Washington, the state level or the local level to ensure they have business as usual. For the companies it means the ability to provide their services or products to customers and the only issue is supply chain concerns. Governments are influenced by a wide variety of voices, think of P&G and a group thought one of their symbols meant more than it actually did. Political parties appeal to a base of voters and sometimes the lawmakers pander to them, although no action is really taken. It does put the spotlight on the management of the company, and they need to spend their time in the spotlight rather than allocating resources of the company. How they answer will mean how the company responds for the next quarter.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questons.


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