Tuesday, October 27

This is how they work on TikTok while they wait to know what the future of the company will be like

The drama surrounding TikTok has been followed not only by its young users and politicians, but also by the more than 1,500 employees of the viral video-sharing app in the United States. TikTok employees in the United States have been involved for months in the great technological battle of the year in which ByteDance – the platform’s parent company – faces the Trump Administration in order to continue operating in the country. The workers, however, denounce that they are the great victims of the process because they have been relegated to the background. Apart from weekly meetings with some members of the company’s management, TikTok employees claim to have received little information directly from the company, which is why they have been forced to follow the news to find out about its future. In fact, on September 14 the company sent employees the exact same statement it provided to reporters about its agreement with Oracle, Business Insider has learned. “There is not much internal communication. For a time there were many messages telling us to prepare for the ban, but that we would be able to continue as employees,” explains an employee who, like the others who have spoken with Business Insider, has done on condition of anonymity. “However, it seems that no one knows much. I think it gives the feeling that the management is not in control of the situation.” A TikTok spokesperson told Business Insider that the company regularly holds public meetings and provides updates on the situation. the team, and that “she has been direct with employees that conversations with the government and the various listed companies require confidentiality, so we cannot always speak as openly as we would like.” The drama that has unfolded in recent months, from President Donald Trump’s threat of banning to his forced sale and failed acquisition by Microsoft, has been closely followed by the company’s more than 1,500 employees in the United States. . Business Insider has spoken with some of those employees in recent weeks about how the situation has affected their jobs and how they feel about it. They speak of skepticism, in some cases of unconcern, and especially of vulnerability and confusion. Aside from concerns about information about the future of the company, some employees say the internal culture has changed. Some TikTok employees who are of Asian descent say they have felt vulnerable as the situation over the application has led to political issues with anti-China airs and nationalist overtones. One employee says he was uncomfortable when his own colleagues celebrated the possible change of ownership to prevent the company from being in Chinese hands. “There hasn’t been much message and support about the geopolitical issues that could be affecting us or some kind of recognition that we support our Asian employees,” the employee said, adding that some workers had expressed joy around “Oh, we’re not going anymore. to be owned by China. ” In a statement to Business Insider, a TikTok spokesperson noted: “TikTok is proud of its diverse and inclusive workforce, and we are deeply sorry that the atmosphere of the US conversations about TikTok has caused some of our employees to people of Asian descent in particular have felt attacked. While we have not previously been aware of the type of comments that Business Insider has described within the company, we take the claims extremely seriously and will continue to focus on making TikTok a place inclusive work for all “. Internally, there has also been some surprise and skepticism about Oracle’s last minute appearance within the TikTok deal. “I want to work at ByteDance because of its global reach and innovative technology,” says one employee. “We do not yet know the details of the agreement with Oracle, but it seems like a strategy for the Anglo-Saxon markets under an alliance with a company without experience in either consumer products or relevant technology. I will keep an open mind, but it is not the opportunity for which I quit my previous job. ” Under the proposed deal, TikTok would slice up its global business with a new US-based company in which Oracle and Walmart – in addition to US investors – would have a significant stake in the company. However, there are still discrepancies over whether the deal would award the majority of the company to US investors or whether TikTok’s Chinese parent (ByteDance) would retain control instead. For now, the short-term future of TikTok in the United States is assured. A federal judge approved a court order over the weekend to block the first part of the government’s ban on TikTok that was scheduled to go into effect Sunday night. However, TikTok will have to defend itself again before November 12, the deadline for the ban to be fully implemented. Read more: TikTok’s algorithm is ByteDance’s “crown jewel” – why Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart would suffer to replicate its magic While it’s common for people to feel job insecurity when their company is negotiating their sale, the duration of the TikTok drama has had a stabilizing effect for some. An employee says he has become accustomed to the lack of certainty about the status of TikTok in the United States. Another claims that months of conflicting information and fervent rumors have desensitized the TikTok staff to such an extent that they have stopped constantly worrying about the future of their jobs. But even though day-to-day operations haven’t changed, TikTok acting boss Vanessa Pappas says the company’s ability to grow has. In documents recently filed in federal court, Pappas says that TikTok’s battle with the United States government has resulted in more than 50 candidates declining to be hired at TikTok, a company that appears to continue to grow rapidly. This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Ana Zarzalejos.

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