SAN ANTONIO – TikTok’s Vice President of Global Business Solutions Blake Chandlee announced Sunday that the digital company is looking to be part of the Austin community for years to come, even as privacy concerns and a ban of the application by President Donald Trump loom.
In a statement to KSAT, Chandlee said the company not only plans to be members of the Austin community, but also plans to add 10,000 jobs over the course of a year, including hundreds to Texas’ capital city. There are currently 46 TikTok job openings listed that are based in Austin.
”We’re proud to build our presence in Austin and be a part of the thriving business and tech community locally,” Chandlee said in a statement to KSAT. “The Austin community embodies the same creative and entrepreneurial spirit that defines the TikTok community, and we are going to do all we can to ensure our company’s future in Texas and the US. Our goal is to be here for years to come for our users, our creators and for the 1,500 people we currently employ in America, the 10,000 people we intend to hire here, including the hundreds of new jobs we’re bringing to Austin.”
Tiktok, a Chinese company owned by ByteDance Ltd. has reportedly been downloaded by over 175 million times in the country and over a billion times globally, according to data from The White House.
Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 6, which essentially prohibits any and all usage of the application by U.S. citizens.
The application has been banned from U.S. Federal Government phones and the U.S. Army has reversed its policy on TikTok by banning soldiers from using the application, according to a report from Military.com.
Following a ban, Tiktok released a statement saying the company’s leadership team was shocked of the news and would “pursue all remedies available to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded.”
“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth,” Tiktok officials said in a statement. “And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.”
Trump said TikTok has also reportedly censored content that the Chinese Communist Party deemed politically sensitive, such as content concerning protests in Hong Kong and China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
“This mobile application may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, such as when TikTok videos spread debunked conspiracy theories about the origins of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” Trump said in the executive order.
To combat misinformation on the application, General Manager of TikTok US Vanessa Pappas announced the following efforts the company would implement going forward to uphold the community guidelines and keep misleading, harmful or deceptive content and accounts off of the social media platform:
- We're updating our policies on misleading content to provide better clarity on what is and isn't allowed on TikTok.
- We're broadening our fact-checking partnerships to help verify election-related misinformation, and adding an in-app reporting option for election misinformation.
- We’re working with experts including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to protect against foreign influence on our platform.