TikTok under pressure as Biden administration scrutinizes Chinese ownership
Chinese owners of TikTok could be pressured to divest. Security issues at the popular social media platform have led some Biden administration officials to “push for the sale of the Chinese company’s U.S. operations to ensure that Beijing cannot exploit the app to purposes of espionage and political influence,” according to a new report. from the Wall Street Journal citing unnamed sources,
The idea of a forced sale was raised during discussions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, with officials from the Pentagon and the Department of Justice pushing for the sale. Among the concerns is the idea that the Chinese government could use TikTok to acquire information about American users as well as to dictate what content is or is not displayed on the platform “in an effort to influence American popular opinion”. .
TikTok is owned by Chinese conglomerate ByteDance. TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET.
National security concerns over TikTok have intensified in recent weeks. A report released earlier this month suggested negotiations between the Biden administration and the app over its US operations would be put on hold for national security reasons. The app has been banned from use on government-issued devices or networks in some states, including Virginia and Georgia Some universities in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alabama also prevent access to campus computers and networks.
Concerns over TikTok ownership and national security are nothing new. The Trump administration before unsuccessfully pushed to ban social media platform in the USA.
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