TikTok reacted on Saturday after President Trump said the Chinese-owned social media service would be banned in the U.S.
“We are not planning to go anywhere,” said Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok. “We are here for the long term,” she said in a video statement.
Trump told reporters on Friday that he plans to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S., potentially preventing millions of Americans who use the social media service to share videos.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we are banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One, adding that an announcement on the matter would be made this weekend.
TikTok reacted in a statement last Saturday that 100 million Americans use TikTok “for entertainment and connection”, including content creators “who are building livelihoods from our platform”.
Pappas, who previously served as global head of creative ideas for YouTube, added that TikTok also currently employs 1,500 people in the U.S. and plans to hire 10,000 more in the next three years.
TikTok was launched in 2016 by ByteDance, a technology company based in Beijing, and was downloaded more than 2 billion times in the following years.
The app’s growing popularity has been accompanied by an increase in security concerns that have resulted in several U.S. federal agencies banning employees from installing it on government-issued devices.
Sen. Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, asked the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate whether TikTok’s connections with China “pose a risk to Americans.”
Subsequently, several outlets reported on Friday that Microsoft was considering buying TikTok from its Chinese parent company. Trump said he is opposed to this possible deal, however, NBC News reported.