Aug 12, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: Trump's TikTok order threatens plans for 10,000 U.S. jobs

Illustration of a briefcase icon in the style of the TikTok logo. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

An order from President Trump that would ban TikTok in the U.S. is putting in jeopardy TikTok's plan to hire 10,000 U.S. employees, according to a source familiar with the company's thinking.

Why it matters: When TikTok first rolled out the job pledge, it served as a carrot in the political conflict over the social video service, but it's now being held out as a stick.

Between the lines: The company doesn't expect the move to affect current employees at this point, according to the source. TikTok employs about 1,500 people in the U.S., 1,000 of whom have joined in the past year.

  • The new jobs involve a mix of skills and locations across Texas, California, Florida, Tennessee and New York. Many of the jobs in Texas are slated to be sales-related, while Florida and Nashville, Tennessee were targeted as customer service hubs.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that TikTok was collecting user data using a technique banned by Google.

  • In a statement, TikTok said the current version of its app does not collect MAC address information, but the company did not respond to follow-up questions from Axios as to when and why it stopped collecting such information.

By the numbers: A new Harris Poll survey finds 57% of Americans support Trump’s executive order.

  • Nearly two-thirds of active TikTok users oppose the order, however.
  • Interestingly, more than 60% of both the overall sample and the active TikTok users said a sale to an American company wouldn't eliminate security concerns given TikTok's ties to China.

Go deeper: Earlier this week, I talked to CNBC about the challenges facing TikTok as it looks to find an American buyer for its U.S. operations.

Go deeper