Will TikTok Survive in the US? Chinese Stake in Jeopardy

US Considers Ban on TikTok Unless China Divests Ownership

The government of the United States recommends that TikTok be made available for purchase; else, it may be banned in the country.

Because it collects data from millions of users, the video-sharing app that is controlled by the Chinese corporation ByteDance is being accused of being a threat to the country’s national security.

TikTok in the Crosshairs: US Threatens Ban Without Chinese Sell-Off
TikTok’s Future Uncertain as US Demands China Divestment

TikTok has confirmed to BBC News that it has received a request for a change in ownership, which was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The corporation claimed that even a compelled sale would not affect the data flows or access it provides.

A request for comment from BBC News was sent to the White House, but the White House has not yet provided a response.

Concerns have been voiced by US authorities for many years regarding the possibility that sensitive information obtained from a widely used app could end up in the possession of the Chinese government.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration of US President Joe Biden wants ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok in order to establish a definitive separation with China.

According to the newspaper, the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), which is responsible for monitoring potential threats to the country’s national security, has unanimously recommended that ByteDance divest itself of its holdings in TikTok.

A representative for TikTok stated that the company did not dispute the story of the WSJ and verified that the company had been contacted by CFIUS.

On the other hand, the spokesperson stated that the reporting was inaccurate and that it was unclear what “divestiture” meant in terms of actual practise.

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According to the spokesperson, divestment is not the solution to the problem if protecting national security is the primary concern because a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on the flow of data or access to it.

“The protection of user data and systems in the United States by means that are both open and based in the United States is the most effective way to address concerns about national security.”

In 2020, when Donald Trump was still the president, the first hint of a ban was dropped.

The government of Mr. Biden, on the other hand, has shown a lack of enthusiasm for the social network.

In a manner analogous to that of Instagram and Twitter, TikTok collects massive amounts of data on its users.

Users’ biometric data can be collected by it, and it also has access to users’ location data. The possibility that the material will be shared with the Chinese government is a source of concern.

TikTok has announced that it is working on relocating all of the data that is based in the United States to the United States as part of a programme that it calls Project Texas.

BBC News has been informed by the corporation that it intends to continue moving forward with that strategy.

This latest development comes about a week after the unveiling of new legislation in the senate, which could give the president expanded ability to prohibit TikTok across the country.

The Restrict Act would provide the US Secretary of Commerce the authority to label firms with international ties as threats to national security.

Also Read:  TikTok Banned on Government-Issued Devices in Canada

On government-issued mobile devices in the United States, Canada, and the European Union, TikTok is not allowed.

A showdown between the company’s chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, and members of Congress in the United States is scheduled to take place the next week.

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