Enlarge /. Visitors visit the Douyin (TikTok) booth at Smart Expo 2019 in Hangzhou, China, on October 18, 2019.
Kevin Mayer, the managing director of TikTok, has accused Facebook of attempting to destroy the Chinese app's US business by smearing "malicious attacks" on it.
In his first public comments since joining Disney's TikTok, Mr. Mayer published an 800-word defense of the viral video app that is under pressure from U.S. regulators and may even be banned by the White House.
Without TikTok, American advertisers would "only have a few options" again. He described Instagram Reels, a new video service from Facebook that will be launched in the US in early August, as a "copycat product" and found that a similar service from Facebook called Lasso had "quickly failed".
"At TikTok, we welcome the competition," he said. "But let's focus on fair and open competition serving our consumers, rather than slandering our competitor's attacks – namely Facebook – disguised as patriotism and designed to end our presence in the United States."
The rapid growth of TikTok, which now has hundreds of millions of users in the United States, has threatened Facebook's platforms, including Instagram.
Mr. Mayer made his statement just hours before Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was asked questions from Congress about whether his company had built a monopoly by crushing or exhausting rivals.
After preparing comments before the antitrust hearing, Mr. Zuckerberg should describe Facebook as a "proud American company" and argue that the rapid rise of Chinese technology is threatening Western "values" of freedom of speech and democracy.
The heavily worded statement will set the tone for the leadership of Mr. Mayer, a purely American media manager who arrived in June to strengthen TikTok's reputation with US lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who is skeptical of his Chinese property.
However, only a few weeks after his term in office, tensions between TikTok and Facebook increased after it launched a series of ads from US President Donald Trump's campaign, which indicated that TikTok was "spying on" its tens of millions of US users has claimed that TikTok denies this. In private, both investors and insiders of the company have speculated that Facebook is lobbying against TikTok behind closed doors.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration is considering banning TikTok by blacklisting its Chinese parent company ByteDance because of national security concerns. A consortium of its US investors, led by Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, is also in talks with the US Treasury about buying the app.
In his statement, Mr. Mayer stated that TikTok's plans to spend $ 200 million on the developers of its app would create 10,000 jobs in the United States.
He also highlighted plans that have been delayed due to corona virus to establish a “Transparency and Accountability Center” that allows outsiders to comply with moderation guidelines “in real time” and “examine the actual code that drives our algorithms”.
He added, "We believe that all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation guidelines, and data flows to regulators."
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