The United States government has taken a tough stance against TikTok, a popular social media app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The administration has threatened to ban the app in the United States unless ByteDance sells its stake in the company.
The announcement, which was made on March 15, 2023, comes amid growing concerns about the potential national security risks posed by TikTok’s Chinese ownership. The app has over 1 billion users worldwide and has faced scrutiny over its data collection practices and alleged ties to the Chinese government.
In response to these concerns, the Biden administration has demanded that ByteDance sell its stake in TikTok to a U.S. company. If the company does not comply with this demand, the app could be banned in the United States.
The move follows in the footsteps of the Trump administration, which also threatened to ban TikTok over national security concerns. In September 2020, Trump signed an executive order that would have banned the app in the United States unless it was sold to a U.S. company. However, the order was never fully implemented due to legal challenges and changes in the political landscape.
The Biden administration’s latest move is likely to face similar legal challenges, but it underscores the growing concern about the potential threats posed by Chinese-owned technology companies. The administration has made it clear that it will take a tough stance on national security issues, and TikTok is just one of several Chinese-owned companies that are facing increased scrutiny.
In response to the latest threat by the Biden administration, ByteDance has indicated that a forced sale of its shares will not address national security concerns. “The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems.” The BBC quotes TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter.
It remains to be seen whether the company will comply with the demand or whether TikTok will be banned in the United States. The fate of the app now hangs in the balance in the American market, as the Biden administration continues to take a tough stance on national security issues.
TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create short videos set to music or other audio tracks. The app has been a global sensation since it was launched in 2016 and has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It has been particularly popular among younger users, who have used the app to create and share videos of themselves dancing, lip-syncing, and performing other creative activities.
The app was developed by the Chinese company ByteDance, which was founded in 2012. ByteDance is now one of the world’s most valuable privately held companies, with a valuation of over $220 billion with its US Titok business valued at $20-50 billion. The company has built a global empire of social media apps, including the Chinese version of TikTok, called Douyin, as well as the news aggregation app Toutiao and the social media platform Helo.
Despite its success, TikTok has faced numerous controversies since its launch. In 2019, the app was banned in India amid concerns about its data collection practices and alleged ties to the Chinese government. The following year, the Trump administration also threatened to ban TikTok in the United States over similar concerns. The administration alleged that TikTok posed a national security threat because of its Chinese ownership and the potential for the app to collect data on U.S. citizens.
These concerns were echoed by the Biden administration, which has taken a tough stance on national security issues related to Chinese-owned technology companies. The administration has expressed concern about the potential for these companies to collect data on U.S. citizens and share it with the Chinese government, which has been accused of using technology for espionage and other nefarious purposes.
The fate of TikTok now hangs in the balance as ByteDance weighs its options. The company could comply with the Biden administration’s demand and sell its stake in the app to a U.S. company, or it could risk the app being banned in the United States. The outcome of this standoff will have significant implications for the future of social media and the relationship between the United States and China.