The drama surrounding TikTok company has been followed by its young users, politicians, and the more than 1,500 employees of the viral video-sharing app in the United States.
TikTok employees in the United States have been involved for months in the great technological battle of the year in which ByteDance. The platform’s parent company – faces the Trump Administration to continue operating in the country. However, the workers denounce that they are the great victims of the process because they have been relegated to the background.
Apart from weekly meetings with some members of the company’s management. TikTok employees claim to have received little information directly from the company. This is why they have been forced to follow the news to discover its future. In fact, on September 14, the company sent employees the same statement it provided reporters about its agreement with Oracle, Business Insider has learned.
“There is not much internal communication. For a time, many messages were telling us to prepare for the ban but that we would be able to continue as employees”. Explains an employee who, like the others who have spoken with Business Insider, has done this on the condition of anonymity. “However, it seems that nobody knows much. I think it gives the feeling that the management is not to handle the situation.”
A TikTok company representative told Business Insider that the company regularly holds public meetings. And provides updates on the situation to the team. And that “it has been direct with employees that discussions with the government and various listed companies require confidentiality. So we can’t always speak as openly as we would like. “
The drama has opened in recent months, from President Donald Trump’s threat of banning to his forced sale and failed acquisition by Microsoft. More than 1,500 employees have closely followed the company in the United States. Business Insider has spoken with some of those employees recently about how the situation has lost their jobs and how they feel about it. They say of skepticism, in some cases of unconcern, vulnerability, and confusion.
Aside from concerns about the company’s future, some employees say the internal culture has changed.
Some TikTok employees of Asian origin say they have felt vulnerable as the application has led to political issues with anti-China airs and nationalist overtones. One employee says he was uncomfortable when his colleagues celebrated the possible change of ownership. To prevent the company from being in Chinese hands.
“There has not been much message and support about the geopolitical issues. That could be affecting us or some recognition that we support our Asian employees,” says the employee. Adding that some workers had expressed joy around “Oh, we are not going anymore. To be owned by China. “
In a declaration to Business Insider, a TikTok company spokesperson noted: “TikTok prides itself on its diverse and inclusive workforce. And we are deeply pained that the atmosphere of conversations in the United States about TikTok has caused some of our employee people of Asian descent, in particular, have felt attacked. At the same time, we have not previously heard of these comments. As Business Insider has described within the company, we take the claims too seriously. We will continue to focus on making TikTok a place inclusive of work for all “.
Internally, there has also been some surprise and skepticism about Oracle’s last-minute appearance in the TikTok deal.
“I want to work for ByteDance because of its worldwide reach and innovative technology,” says one employee. “We don’t know about the details of the contract with Oracle. But it seems like a strategy for the Anglo-Saxon markets under an alliance with a company without experience in either consumer products or relevant technology. I will keep an open mind, but it is not the opportunity to quit my previous job. “
Under the proposed deal, TikTok would expand its global business with a new US-based company. In addition to US investors, Oracle and Walmart would have a significant stake in the company. However, there are still discrepancies over whether the deal would award most of the company to US investors. Or whether TikTok’s Chinese parent (ByteDance) would retain control instead.
For now, the short-term future of TikTok in the United States is assured. A federal judge approved a court order over the weekend to block the first part of the government’s ban on TikTok scheduled to take effect Sunday. After that, however, TikTok will have to defend itself again before November 12, the ban’s deadline, to be fully implemented.
Since it’s prevalent for people to feel job insecurity when their company is negotiating its sale, the TikTok drama’s length has had a stabilizing effect for some.
An employee says he has become accustomed to the lack of certainty about the status of TikTok in the United States. Another claims that months of conflicting information and fervent rumors have desensitized the TikTok staff to such an extent that they have continuously stopped worrying about the future of their jobs.
But even though day-to-day operations haven’t changed, TikTok acting boss Vanessa Pappas says the company’s ability to grow has. In documents recently filed in federal court, Pappas says that TikTok’s battle with the United States government has resulted in more than 50 candidates declining to be hired at TikTok. This company appears to continue to increase.