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TikTok could respond to the US ban with a clone

TikTok could respond to the US ban with a clone

TikTok reportedly began working on a clone of its algorithm late last year, so it predated a US bill to force the sale (or ban) of TikTok's US assets, which was signed into law in April.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the project told Reuters that hundreds of ByteDance and TikTok engineers in both the United States and China were ordered in recent months to begin dissecting millions of lines of software code and scrutinizing the company's algorithm that recommends videos to users. Likes. Engineers were tasked with creating a separate code base independent of the systems ByteDance also uses for Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok; In addition, their mission is to remove information related to Chinese users. The sources said that it is expected to take more than a year to complete the work.

According to sources, the code being prepared for the US version could lay the foundation for the sale of US TikTok devices, although there are currently no concrete plans to do so. It is very unlikely that an app will be sold using algorithms. In 2020, the Chinese government added content recommendation algorithms to its export control list, which will make the process more difficult — and perhaps impossible.

In May, TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against a law mandating the sale or ban of the app. On Tuesday, a US Court of Appeals set a quick timetable to consider legal challenges to the new law.

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The source code for TikTok's recommendation engine was originally developed by ByteDance engineers in China and then adapted to work in TikTok's various global markets, including the United States. TikTok's popularity is due in part to the effectiveness of its recommendation engine, which determines the delivery of content to individual users based on their interactions with the content they view.

Source: Reuters

Cover image source: Shutterstock

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