Hey, guess what's shaking in TikTok town? Brace yourself for some major WINS! TikTok just nailed back-to-back victories in the courtroom – we're talking Indiana and Montana, baby!
In the Hoosier State, a judge gave a big NOPE to a lawsuit trying to rain on TikTok's parade. And that's not all, folks! Over in Montana, they were trying to pull off a first-of-its-kind ban on TikTok statewide, but a federal judge swooped in and was like, "Hold up, we're not doing that dance today!"
Montana was the first state in the U.S. to pass a complete ban on the app TikTok. The ban was based on the argument that the Chinese government could gain access to user information from TikTok, whose parent company, ByteDance, is based in Beijing. However, this ban was challenged by TikTok and five Montana content creators who filed a case wanting the court to block the state's ban on the video-sharing app before it took effect on January 1.
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking Montana's ban of TikTok, ruling that the law set to take effect on January 1, 2024, likely was unconstitutional. The judge questioned Montana's argument for the ban, calling it "paternalistic" and expressing confusion over how the state could protect consumers who voluntarily give their personal data to TikTok. Despite the ruling halting Montana's TikTok ban, calls persist to regulate the app.
For the last four years, the Biden administration and TikTok have been talking to solve security worries about the app, which is owned by a Chinese company. Let's explore what's happening. Some secret plans with TikTok suggest that the U.S. might control the app in a way similar to China to avoid an upcoming ban.
Uncertainty about TikTok in the U.S.: TikTok needs to do something big, like becoming a public company or letting a really big tech company buy it, to avoid being banned. At this time, it looks like both options are being considered.
Why TikTok Matters: There's famous people like Charli D'Amelio who are really popular on TikTok, and she doesn't want TikTok to go away because she has lots of fans. Her recent fan base was more that 150 thousand.
Bytedance, one of the largest Chinese tech and internet companies announced that it will start designing its own semiconductors, also called chips, soon. In addition to owning the popular video app Tiktok, Bytedance owns a large number of popular information, entertainment and gaming apps. The company claims that the chips designed will be used by Bytedance for its own applications only and will not be sold to other companies. This announcement is in keeping with the Chinese government policy of encouraging Chinese tech companies to design their own chips so that China becomes self sufficient in this critical technology.
SMIC Lags Behind
At present the largest semiconductor company in China, Semiconductor Manufacturing international corporation (SMIC) is still lagging behind the world leaders in semiconductor technology like Intel (USA), Samsung , SK Hynix (Korea) and TSMC (Taiwan). Since semiconductors are being used extensively for a large number of applications ranging from home appliances, home automation, vehicles to smartphones, desktops, and servers, design and manufacturing of semiconductors has been a critical technology for countries. The Chinese government has invested a large amount in developing the local semiconductor industry since the country is many years behind the world leaders .
China Self Sufficiency Plan
China is encouraging Chinese tech companies to develop their own semiconductors or chips to become self sufficient and also for national security reasons. The Chinese search engine Baidu has designed a Kunlun chip, while the top Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba has developed the Yitian 710 chip for its own use. The Alibaba chip uses the latest chip design technique, the 5 nanometre process and uses the architecture from Arm, a British semiconductor firm. Oppo, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is also developing its own chip for its smartphones, using a 3 nanometre process.The Kirin processors developed by another large Chinese tech company Huawei helped it become one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world.
Bytedance which is headquartered in Beijing has advertised the vacancies related to semiconductor design on its website, confirming that it recruiting engineers specializing in chip design. At present, the company is purchasing chips from other companies and then customizing them for their own requirement. Bytedance claims that it is not able to find suppliers for certain kinds of chips it requires. If Bytedance develops its own chips, they can be directly used for the applications no additional programming will be required. However, at present, Bytedance like other Chinese companies will then have to outsource the manufacturing of the chips to other companies which specialize in semiconductor manufacturing.