Until recently, general manager of the US branch of TikTok Vanessa Pappas was announced as this week as the interim global head of the company.

Ms Pappas who had also been in charge of the app’s Australian and New Zealand operations since June 2019, landed the top job following the unexpected departure of Kevin Mayer from the CEO role.

The University of Queensland graduate stated she is “incredibly proud and humbled to take the role” in a tweet last Friday.

Her predecessor who was on the post a mere three months, cited drastic changes in “the political environment” in his resignation letter.

The statement hints to US President Donald Trump’s recent signing of an executive order effectively seeking to ban the Chinese-owned app in the country, which his administration considers a security risk.

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TikTok however denied allegations over sharing of user data with the Chinese government and censoring content at the country’s authorities request.

In a recent interview Ms Pappas told NBC the app is “not a national security threat”.

“We have very strict data controls in place. We have an amazing team building a world-class infrastructure, and that’s something that we put front and center in terms of protecting our users, ” she said.

Citing the lack of evidence found by a CIA report investigating potential access to the apps users’ data by Chinese intelligence, the Greek Australian – now global head of the company – said TikTok had fallen victim of the “geopolitical tension” between Washington and Beijing.

Bejing-based TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, also owns WeChat, the other social media app covered by the executive order signed by Trump in August.

Video-sharing app TikTok is hugely popular globally, especially across younger audiences accounting for around 100 million users in the US alone and with more than 680 million followers actively using it on a monthly basis worldwide.

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