Following the issues TikTok has been having with the US government, ByteDance, owners of the app, have opted to release the company to a potential buyer located in the US. One of the clauses of the sale agreement is for the company to leave behind one of its most important software codes. South China Morning Post reports that ByteDance won’t accept the sale or transfer of the social video service’s recommendation algorithm to a US buyer.
For the company and app to keep functioning, the US buyer’s team would then need to write a new algorithm for displaying and suggesting video clips. ByteDance has reported this new development to the app’s would-be buyers since it doesn’t have much time till the September 15th deadline President Donald Trump gave.
To an extent, ByteDance doesn’t have a choice and China recently released new rules on AI exports mandating the company to get a license if its algorithms were sold to a US firm. In simpler terms, it may even be of great gain for China if TikTok were shut down, rather than sold off.
Although all hope is not lost if the company loses its algorithm, as a new system could then be developed. However, the possibility of a new algorithm in use while the company is still in the US is very low. If so, addicted users might have to opt for another social network offering a similar service.