TikTok will reportedly become an independent, U.S.-based company, with a majority stake held by its current parent company ByteDance. ByteDance will retain control of TikTok’s AI algorithm, in accordance with the Chinese government’s new restrictions on AI and other technology exports. Oracle will be given a minority stake in the new company and will be responsible for processing U.S. users’ data, which will be stored in the U.S.
- ByteDance rejected Microsoft's offer to take over TikTok's U.S. operations. Last month, we reported on how Microsoft wanted to use video data from the acquisition to train AI systems and learn more about its consumers.
- Last week, TikTok revealed details about the algorithm and data practices that have been key assets at making the company viable. The algorithm helps recommend the next videos based on machine learning techniques that decide what content users are most likely to click on.
- TikTok collects data about a user and maps his or her preferences into clusters based on other users' preferences. The algorithm works by suggesting videos to users based on their proximity to other clusters.
- TikTok plans to hire dozens of data, security, and privacy experts by the end of this year.