TikTok CEO resigns as US-China tensions escalate

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The hugely popular short video-sharing app, TikTok has confirmed that it’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer has left the company while General Manager Vanessa Pappas is expected to take over his responsibilities in the short term.

The news comes days after TikTok along with its employees have separately sued the Trump administration over an executive order banning transactions by US citizens with the service.

“In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mr. Mayer said in an internal memo.

“Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”

While confirming the departure of its current CEO over an email statement, TikTok said that the political dynamics of the last few months had “significantly changed” the scope of Mayer’s role.

TikTok and its Chinese parent ByteDance have previously rejected White House’s position that its service was a national security threat saying they had taken “extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data”.

The firms described US President’s call for a TikTok ban as a means to advance his alleged “broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric” ahead of the November 3 US presidential election, where Mr. Trump is seeking a second term

Mr. Yiming Zhang, ByteDance’s founder and CEO said in a separate letter that the company was “moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the U.S. and India.”