TikTok says it plans to hire 10,000 Americans over the next three years. The news comes as the Trump administration is weighing a flat-out TikTok ban in the U.S.
TikTok’s meteoric growth around the globe has brought concerns over censorship and moderation. TikTok has been caught red-handed censoring things China deems inappropriate – like fat, ugly, poor, and gay people. Since then, ByteDance has continued its mission to separate TikTok.
Kevin Mayer, who Peter Navarro called an “American puppet,” recently joined the company as CEO. Mayer previously managed Disney’s streaming division and the launch of Disney+. As part of its stateside takeover, the company has launched splashy offices in Los Angeles and Times Square in New York City. Now, a TikTok spokesperson says the company plans to hire 10,000 employees in the U.S. over the next three years.
“In 2020, TikTok tripled the number of employees working in the U.S., and we plan to add another 10,000 jobs here over the next three years,” the TikTok spokesperson confirmed. “These are good-paying jobs that will help us continue to build a fun and safe experience and protect our community’s privacy.”
Back in March, ByteDance said it hopes to have 100,000 global employees on its payroll by the end of 2020. By comparison, Facebook employs 44,942 people, and Google employs 118,899, according to 2019 data.
ByteDance likely hopes the jobs announcement will deter the Trump admin from following through with a TikTok ban.
The United States is clamping down on Chinese technology companies like ByteDance and Huawei. The Trump administration says it is “looking at” a TikTok ban and whether that’s feasible in the U.S. The administration has also taken drastic steps against Huawei, banning it from selling equipment to the U.S. telecoms. Huawei is also subject to strict sanctions due to allegations of spying.
The U.S. government is also conducting a national security review of the acquisition of Musical.ly. ByteDance acquired Musical.ly back in 2017 and merged it with TikTok. Government officials are concerned that ByteDance may be censoring politically-sensitive content. Officials have also announced concerns about China’s access to user data.
Several branches of the U.S. military, including the Army, Navy, and Marines, have a TikTok ban in place already. There’s even a bill pitched in Congress to extend that ban to all government-owned devices.
ByteDance’s plan to create more American jobs may throw a wrench in the Trump admin’s plans for a TikTok ban. The president is eager to be seen as a job creator in the U.S., and banning TikTok, of course, will do the opposite of that.