US Orders TikTok’s Chinese Parent Company to Sell or Face Nationwide Ban

Photo from Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

US Orders TikTok’s Chinese Parent Company to Sell or Face Nationwide Ban

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Biden administration is threatening to ban TikTok in the United States unless the app’s Chinese owner sells its stakes in the popular video platform. 

This comes after bipartisan concern over the national security threat posed by the app’s Beijing-based owner, ByteDance. 

As Movieguide® previously reported, “TikTok is providing a means for China to collect information. Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok is ultimately controlled by the Chinese government as the split between the private and public sectors is ‘nonexistent in the way that [the] CCP operates.’” 

However, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the U.S. has not provided evidence that TikTok poses a threat to national security. 

 “The U.S. side should stop spreading false information on the issue of data security, stop unreasonably suppressing the enterprises concerned, and provide an open, fair, just and nondiscriminatory business environment for enterprises of all countries to invest and operate in the U.S.,” Wang Wenbin said.

A spokesperson for TikTok responded to the Biden administration’s warning: 

“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing,” a statement said. 

The Daily Wire reports that “The company vowed to spend $1.5 billion to protect American user data and ensure that Chinese officials could not access the information.”

“TikTok has indeed offered a national security proposal called Project Texas to American officials. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States rejected the proposal,” according to The Daily Wire.

The Biden administration already banned TikTok from government devices, and U.S. lawmakers have also pushed legislation that would ban TikTok nationwide. 

Movieguide® previously reported on Sen. Josh Hawley’s efforts to ban the app: 

“TikTok is China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide,” the Missouri senator wrote in a January 24 tweet.

Movieguide® has previously reported on the devastating impact TikTok has had on children. Minors are frequently exposed to explicit content, drug usage and trends such as the deadly “blackout challenge” while using the app.

Hawley explained how his bill would prevent more children from being damaged by the content they see on TikTok.

“What my bill does is it specifically goes after TikTok—it bans it,” Hawley told Capitol Hill reporters.

“It doesn’t ban any other app, but it also requires a comprehensive report to Congress on the national security threat” the app poses and its relationship to the Chinese Communist Party, he added.

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