TikTok, the popular video-sharing app owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is facing increasing pressure from Western powers, including the United States and the European Union. The concern is that user data could be accessed or misused by Chinese officials, which poses a risk to national security. To avoid a potential ban, US officials have urged TikTok to sever its ties with its Chinese parent company.
TikTok has responded by stating that it remains confident that the best way to address concerns about national security is through transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification. However, reports suggest that the White House has given an ultimatum: if TikTok remains under the ownership of ByteDance, it may be banned in the US.
Some analysts have likened the situation to a high-stakes poker game, and the outcome remains uncertain. Nonetheless, it’s clear that TikTok is facing significant challenges as it seeks to maintain its position in the global market. Only time will tell what the future holds for this popular app.
Washington is “clearly… putting more pressure on ByteDance to strategically sell this key asset in a major move that could have significant ripple impacts,” he continued.
The White House last week welcomed a bill introduced in the US Senate that would allow President Joe Biden to ban TikTok.
The bipartisan bill “would empower the United States government to prevent certain foreign governments from exploiting technology services… in a way that poses risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our national security,” Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement.
The bill’s introduction and its quick White House backing accelerated the political momentum against TikTok, which is also the target of a separate piece of legislation in the US House of Representatives.
Appearing tough on China is one of the rare issues with potential for bipartisan support in both the Republican-run House and the Senate, where Biden’s Democratic Party holds the majority.
Concern ramped up among American officials earlier this year after a Chinese balloon, which Washington alleged was on a spy mission, flew over US airspace.