The flurry of interest in acquiring TikTok shows the value of a popular social network with vast troves of consumer data. The deal also holds an important lesson about technology use that other businesses can learn from: the need to design applications in a flexible, portable way.
One challenge for any company that buys TikTok will be how to carve up its technical infrastructure outside of China without destroying its value in the process. The impetus for the deal is that the US doesn’t want China “spying” on its citizens through the app. That will require untangling the data and application code on the back end.