Archive for July, 2020

Trump told reporters he will use executive power to ban TikTok

President Donald Trump said he could act to ban the world’s most popular short video app TikTok from the US as early as Saturday, according to The Hill. The president said he could use “emergency economic powers or an executive order” to bar TikTok from the US, he told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday. The news came hours after reports broke that Microsoft was in talks to buy TikTok. Investors are reportedly valuing three-year-old TikTok at $50 billion. In his remark on Friday, Trump signaled he was not supportive of allowing an American company to acquire TikTok. On the same day, Bloomberg reported that Trump could order ByteDance to divest its ownership of TikTok. In response to Trump’s decision, TikTok, as usual, tried to make a case that it’s in the interest of the US to keep the app and it poses no national security threat: “100 million Americans come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, especially during the pandemic. We’ve hired nearly 1,000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the US. Our $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform. TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” said a TikTok spokesperson. Trump’s announcement confirmed weeks of speculation that US regulators planned to block TikTok, which is immensely popular among American teens, over concerns that it could be a spying tool for Beijing. The question is how a divestment or ban of TikTok will take shape. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, which has emerged as the most promising tech startup in China in recent times, reportedly valued at a staggering $100 billion. It operates Douyin, the popular Chinese version of TikTok, separately for China-based users. ByteDance has sought various ways to distance TikTok from any Chinese association. Efforts in the past few months range from appointing former Disney executive Kevin Mayer as TikTok’s CEO, claiming the app’s data is stored on American land, through to promising to create 10,000 jobs in the US. TikTok’s comms team also tried to assuage concerns by reiterating that four of its parent company’s five board seats are “controlled by some of the world’s best-respected global investors,” including Arthur Dantchik, managing director of Susquehanna International Group; William Ford, CEO of General Atlantic; Philippe Laffont, founder of Coatue Management; and Neil Shen, the boss of Sequoia China. ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming is the chairman of the board. It’s worth noting that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) still hasn’t released its decision on whether the Musical.ly-TikTok merger constitutes a national security threat to the U.S. Even if it orders TikTok to shed Musical.ly, it’s […]

Disrupt 2020 early-bird savings extended until next week

Even the hard-charging world of early-stage startups has its share of procrastinators, lollygaggers, slow-pokes, wafflers and last-minute decision makers. If that’s your demographic, today is your lucky day. You now have an extra week (courtesy of Saint Expeditus, the patron saint of procrastinators), to score early-bird savings to Disrupt 2020, which takes place September 14-18. Buy your pass before the new and final deadline — August 7 at 11:59 p.m. (PT) — and save up to $300. Who says prayers (or secular entreaties) go unanswered? Your pass opens the door to five days of Disrupt — the biggest, longest TechCrunch conference ever. Drawing thousands of attendees and hundreds of innovative early-stage startups from around the world, you won’t find a better time, place or opportunity to accelerate the speed of your business. Here are four world-class reasons to attend Disrupt 2020. World-class speakers. Hear and engage with leading voices in tech, business and investment across the Disrupt stages. Folks like Sequoia Capital’s Roelof Botha, Ureeka’s Melissa Bradley and Slack’s Tamar Yehoshua — to name just a few. Here’s what you can see onstage so far. World-class startups. Explore hundreds of innovative startups exhibiting in Digital Startup Alley — including the TC Top Picks. This elite cadre made it through our stringent screening process to earn the coveted designation, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more varied and interesting set of startups. World-class networking. CrunchMatch, our AI-powered networking platform, simplifies connecting with founders, potential customers, R&D teams, engineers or investors. Schedule 1:1 video meetings and hold recruitment or extended pitch sessions. CrunchMatch launches weeks before Disrupt to give you more time to scout, vet and schedule. World-class pitching. Don’t miss Startup Battlefield, the always-epic pitch competition that’s launched more than 900 startups, including big-time names like TripIt, Mint, Dropbox and many others. This year’s crop of startups promises to throw down hard for bragging rights and the $100,000 cash prize. Need another reason to go? Take a page out of SIMBA Chain founder Joel Neidig’s playbook: Our primary goal was to make people aware of the SIMBA Chain platform capabilities. Attending Disrupt is great way to get your name out there and build your customer base. It’s time for all you last-minute lollygaggers to get moving and take advantage of this second, final chance to save up to $300. Buy your pass before August 7 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form. ( function() { var func = function() { var iframe = document.getElementById(‘wpcom-iframe-bc5e644f85a11b970469253c6a947a65’) if ( iframe ) { iframe.onload = function() { iframe.contentWindow.postMessage( { ‘msg_type’: ‘poll_size’, ‘frame_id’: ‘wpcom-iframe-bc5e644f85a11b970469253c6a947a65’ }, “https://tcprotectedembed.com” ); } } // Autosize iframe var funcSizeResponse = function( e ) { var origin = document.createElement( ‘a’ ); origin.href = e.origin; // Verify message origin if ( ‘tcprotectedembed.com’ !== origin.host ) return; // Verify message is in a format we expect if ( ‘object’ !== typeof e.data || undefined === e.data.msg_type […]