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ByteDance expands responsibility of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew to include its Instagram rival Lemon8 (report)

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Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok who was grilled at a listening to in entrance of US lawmakers earlier this 12 months, is reportedly being given a further new job by mother or father firm ByteDance.

In line with a report at The Information printed on Tuesday (Might 30), ByteDance is placing one other of its apps, Lemon8, “below Chew’s supervision”.

Citing “an individual with direct data of the matter,” The Data says the present head of Lemon8, Stephanie Cheng, will now report back to Chew, who relies in Singapore.

Lemon8 was formally rolled out in the USA earlier this 12 months, although it has been round in another markets, resembling Japan, since 2020. In line with a New York Times report, ByteDance employed influencers this 12 months to unfold the phrase in regards to the new app.

Lemon8 is targeted on life-style, with its prime trending matters sometimes being meals, magnificence, trend, journey and wellness. Some speculate the app is supposed to compete with Meta-owned Instagram.

In that case, Lemon8 has its work reduce out for it. Bloomberg reported in October that Instagram has round 2 billion month-to-month lively customers worldwide.

Lemon8 has had an estimated 17.3 million downloads worldwide since its 2020 launch – though it has seen quick adoption within the US this spring, clocking a million downloads in a two-week interval from March to April, according to Insider Intelligence.

Lemon8’s person base can also be a tiny fraction of TikTok customers, of which there are an estimated 1.6 billion worldwide and a confirmed 150 million within the US.

Nevertheless, others speculate that Lemon8 would possibly really be a substitute for TikTok, ought to the app be banned within the US or different Western international locations, as some politicians have referred to as for.

At a congressional hearing in March, Chew confronted four-and-a-half hours of questioning by each Democrat and Republican lawmakers, who grilled him on the corporate’s information-sharing practices.

Chew careworn TikTok’s “Operation Texas,” an ongoing undertaking to shift US customers’ information from servers in China to servers in Texas supervised by Oracle. Nevertheless, he admitted that the Texas facility shouldn’t be but absolutely operational, and a few ByteDance engineers in China do have entry to US person information.

Earlier this month, Montana turned the primary US state to signal into regulation an outright ban on TikTok, from January 1, 2024. Beneath this regulation, app shops that provide TikTok to customers in Montana might be fined $10,000 for every single day that the app is out there. Customers of TikTok don’t face penalties below this regulation.

TikTok has taken authorized motion towards the state of Montana after Governor Greg Gianforte signed the invoice banning the favored short-form video app.

“We wish to reassure Montanans that they will proceed utilizing TikTok to specific themselves, earn a residing, and discover group as we proceed working to defend the rights of our customers inside and out of doors of Montana.”

Brooke Oberwetter, TikTok

Many authorized specialists have questioned the regulation’s validity. For one factor, it’s uncommon for a regulation to single out a single firm for a ban. Usually, legal guidelines ban sure sorts of enterprise, or ban companies from participating sure actions, whereas Montana’s regulation expressly targets TikTok.

There may be additionally a query of whether or not Montana has jurisdiction on this matter, because the regulation states it’s meant to guard “nationwide safety,” which generally is a matter for the federal authorities.

For its half, TikTok has referred to as the regulation “illegal,” and has vowed to battle it as a violation of the free speech rights of Montanans.

“We wish to reassure Montanans that they will proceed utilizing TikTok to specific themselves, earn a residing, and discover group as we proceed working to defend the rights of our customers inside and out of doors of Montana,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter mentioned.Music Enterprise Worldwide

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