TikTok since COVID-19 has accelerated in growth and adoption. At the end of April, CNET broke the story that TikTok had been downloaded over 2 billion times. Kevin Mayer, a former executive for Disney's' streaming channel, will be the new TikTok CEO for the very popular video-sharing app.

Mayer will also have the responsibility to serve as a chief operating officer (COO) of ByteDance. According to the New York Times, Mayer said this was an opportunity he could not pass up. In addition, the number of downloads for the app equaled 172 million for the United States alone.

The prospects of an American executive running a Chinese company like TikTok is exciting. TikTok poses a challenge to existing social networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Users are not alone in joining this platform, yet plenty of high profile celebrities and existing influencers are flocking to the service.

TikTok CEO faces hurdles in the months to come

TikTok will face a number of issues in the coming months. One is the regulatory issues and a very skeptical Congress on the data practices of the company.

This includes licensing problems and competition to existing social media juggernauts - Facebook and YouTube.

One of the major concerns for the app for lawmakers across the aisle (Democrats and Republicans) is how influential is the Chinese government over TikTok.

Now, TikTok has gone a hiring spree and attracted American executives. TikTok snatched former YouTube executive Vanessa Pappas. She, along with her team are in charge of TikTok for the U.S. market.

On May 14, Mashable reported a coalition of 20 child advocacy, privacy, and consumer organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The request is to investigate the platform's data collection practices specifically that concern minors.

Mayer's responsibilities as CEO

As highlighted in The Verge report, TikTok's wager on Mayer is because he can bring everybody together. In other words, he will try to appease lawmakers in Washington while at the same time bridge connections to Hollywood in order to expand TikTok's reach across the marketplace.

Mayer's role is not just limited to the CEO. As the COO, he will oversee corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, moderation, and legal. Talk about having your plate full.


TikTok presents a formidable challenge to American social networks. It is the first major social media platform to be popular, and it is not U.S.-based. Since social networks spawned in the early 2000s, it was almost impossible to imagine a foreign service could ever compete with the likes of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

China and the U.S. are in a showdown. They have a major influence when it comes to economics and politics. Both are trying to cement their influence in the digital sphere. Who will win remains a mystery.