Could Apple and Google trip up TikTok even if saber-rattling politicians do not? It’s an intriguing idea sparked by a story we published today, especially as it resurfaces a perennial gripe of many startup founders: the iron grip the two tech giants have on smartphone apps.
According to new reporting from my colleague Juro on Wednesday, the ByteDance-owned short video app has begun talks with Apple and Google to ensure its proposed data security plan doesn’t get derailed by their app store rules. Under the plan, which TikTok has proposed to the U.S. government to address concerns about the security of U.S. user data, every update to TikTok’s software would be vetted and delivered to the app stores by Oracle, which will host TikTok’s U.S. user data on its servers. But as Juro points out, TikTok is worried that app store rules may prevent third parties from submitting software updates on behalf of a different company.