Six weeks ago, as TikTok grappled with escalating tensions between the United States and China, the social media app’s top executives huddled together to figure out their next steps.
Vanessa Pappas, 41, was worried. TikTok’s North American business, which she has run since 2018, was dealing with an uproar. President Trump had threatened to ban TikTok because of its Chinese owner, ByteDance, and many of the more than 100 million people who use TikTok in the United States were up in arms.
So in the early hours of Aug. 1, Ms. Pappas recorded a 59-second video from her home office