July 29, 2020
TikTok calls out Facebook in a blog post urging 'fair competition'
TikTok took a jab at Facebook for launching "copycat" apps in a blog post about "fair competition" and transparency hours before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to speak before Congress.
TikTok has faced increased scrutiny on its ties to China, mainly surrounding how it handles people's private data. On Wednesday, the Bytedance-owned company expressed its stance on the issue, saying it embraces the challenge while also calling on other social networking sites to disclose what they do with users' information.
"We believe all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators," TikTok's CEO Kevin Mayer said in the blog post.
The platform took things further with regards to Facebook, calling out the tech giant by name for trying to copy its formula. In 2018, Facebook quietly launched Lasso which let users shoot 15-second videos and overlay popular songs. It later shut down the app.
A few weeks ago, Facebook unveiled plans to launch Reels, another TikTok-like video platform for Instagram that also lets people create interactive short clips set to music.
"To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on," TikTok said. "Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram), after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly."
TikTok then went after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who previously called the app a threat to democracy in America.
"Let's focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor—namely Facebook—disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US," TikTok said.
The post comes hours ahead of big tech's hearing before Congress, where Zuckerberg is expected to answer questions surrounding antitrust and Facebook's social media dominance. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet will also speak before lawmakers starting at noon ET Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration and other government officials have questioned whether TikTok has a place in the U.S. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration was looking into a possible ban of TikTok in the U.S.
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