Google Cloud signed a three-year deal with TikTok in May 2019 to provide access to its cloud services, The Information reports.

TikTok agreed to pay at least $800m for the companies cloud services over this period. TikTok only exists outside of China, while its parent ByteDance operates the similar Douyin app within the country.

Back in 2017, Google revealed Snapchat had signed a similar $2bn deal for 5 years.

TikTok
– Pixabay/konkarampelas

The clock goes TikTok

The past few months have not been kind to the video-sharing app, with many countries considering banning TikTok outright amidst allegations of spying.

TikTok is already banned in India - after several clashes with China, the country's authorities blacklisted almost 60 apps, including TikTok, for national security reasons.

The US may follow suit, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo telling Fox News that the government is considering kicking them out too.

“We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it,” Pompeo said. “With respect to Chinese apps on peoples’ cellphones, the United States will get this one right too.”

US authorities have had numerous run-ins with TikTok over its handling of user data. The Federal Trade Commission grilled TikTok over how protected children (under-13s) are on its platform and over how much control its owner, ByteDance, has over it. In February 2019, the company was fined around $6m by the Commission.

China has been in the spotlight for the past few years for the public oppression of its minority populations and the recent crackdown on Hong Kong, with laws being passed to force tech companies to comply with Chinese law enforcement.

Earlier this month, Google, Facebook, and Twitter announced they would temporarily stop processing user data for law enforcement in Hong Kong under the laws.

TikTok followed suit saying it would suspend its operations in Hong Kong entirely and take its app off of the store page.

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A screenshot of the video showing TikTok pasting text from the clipboard while the user types – Twitter

Amazon backtrack

Last week, Amazon asked its employees to delete TikTok from their phones citing security risks. Amazon soon backtracked, claiming the email was sent in error just five hours later.

In a follow-up statement from Amazon, company spokesperson Kristin Brown told employees there was no change in the company's policy surrounding TikTok.

In December, the DoD told its personnel to delete the app from Government-issued phones.

In May, ByteDance hired former Disney executive Kevin Mayer as CEO of TikTok, and COO of ByteDance.