The US government has again threatened to ban TikTok.what you should know


Nearly two and a half years ago, the Trump administration threatened to ban TikTok in the United States if it wasn’t spun off from its Chinese owners, and the Biden administration is now doing the same.

TikTok acknowledged to CNN this week that federal officials are Ask the app’s Chinese owner to sell its stake On social media platforms, or face the risk of banning the app in the United States.

After years of negotiations between TikTok and government agencies, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) issued new directives. (CFIUS and previously mandated LGBTQ dating app Grindr for sale 2019 owned by China. )

The U.S. administration’s ultimatum marks a clear escalation in pressure from Washington as more lawmakers revive national security concerns about the app.Suddenly, TikTok’s future in the U.S. seems more uncertain — but this time, after the app has only Expanded influence on American culture.

Here’s what you should know.

Some in Washington have expressed concern that the app could be infiltrated by the Chinese government to essentially spy on American users or obtain American user data. Others have warned of the possibility that the Chinese government could use the app to promote propaganda to American audiences. At the heart of both is an underlying concern that any company doing business in China will end up falling under the laws of the Chinese Communist Party.

Other concerns raised are not unique to TikTok, but relate more broadly to the social media platform’s potential to lead young users down harmful rabbit holes.

If this latest development gives you a sense of déjà vu, it’s because it echoes the saga of TikTok’s experience in the United States, which kicked off in 2020 when the Trump administration first threatened it with an executive order if it Do not sell yourself, will impose an injunction on it to an American company.

Oracle and Walmart Featured as a Buyer, Social Media Creators are in a frenzy, TikTok has started a lengthy legal battle against the US government.Some critics at the time slammed then-President Donald Trump’s crusade against the app, arguing that the political arena was rooted in xenophobia, and noting that Trump’s unusual suggestion was a U.S. Should get a “cut” of any deal If it forces the app to be sold to an American company.

The logo of ByteDance's Beijing office in China, July 7, 2020.

The Biden administration eventually rolled back a Trump-era executive order targeting TikTok and replaced it with a broader directive focused on investigating technology linked to foreign adversaries, including China. Meanwhile, CFIUS continues to negotiate a deal that could allow the app to continue operating in the United States. Then the scrutiny began to kick in again in Washington.

Lawmakers have re-examined TikTok’s relationship with China through its parent company, ByteDance. Report It suggested last year that U.S. user data had been repeatedly accessed by employees based in China. TikTok disputed the report.

In a rare speech at a Harvard Business Review conference earlier this month, TikTok CEO Shou Chew emphasized the company’s previous commitment to address lawmakers’ concerns.

“In fact, the Chinese government has never asked us to provide U.S. user data,” Chew said, “We have publicly stated that even if we asked, we would not provide it.” Chew added, “By default, all U.S. user data are stored in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” and “access to that data is fully controlled by U.S. personnel.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is interviewed at the company's offices in Washington, DC, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023.  (Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

As for concerns that the Chinese government might use the app to promote to U.S. audiences, Chew emphasized that this is bad for business, noting that about 60% of TikTok’s owners are global investors. “Misinformation and propaganda have no place on our platform, nor do our users want that to happen,” he said.

In response to the CFIUS divestiture request, a TikTok spokesperson told CNN this week that the change in ownership will not affect how U.S. user data is accessed.

“If protecting national security is the goal, divestment is not the answer,” TikTok spokeswoman Maureen Shanahan said in a statement. “The change in ownership will not impose any new restrictions on data flow or access. National security concerns are best addressed with transparent, U.S.-based protections for U.S. user data and systems, and the strong third-party monitoring, review and verification.”

TikTok is really just a national security risk because the Chinese government may have leverage over TikTok or its parent company. China has national security laws that require companies under its jurisdiction to cooperate with broad security activities. The main problem is that the public has few ways to verify whether or how this influence is being exercised. (TikTok does not operate in China, but ByteDance does.)

Privacy and Security Researchers People who have pored over the TikTok app say that, as far as they know, TikTok isn’t much different from other social networks in terms of the data it collects or how it communicates with the company’s servers. That’s still a lot of personal leaks, but it doesn’t mean the TikTok app itself is malware or a type of spyware.

That’s why people are really concerned about TikTok and ByteDance’s relationship with the Chinese government, and why the Biden administration is pushing TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their stake.

India banned TikTok in the summer of 2020 following a bitter border clash with China, a move that showed Sudden disconnection of more than 200 million users The application is gathered there.

While there is no ban on the app on personal devices, many other countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK, have recently enacted TikTok bans on official government devices.

Late last year, President Joe Biden signed legislation banning TikTok on federal government devices, and more than half of the U.S. states have enacted similar mandates at the state level. TikTok Spokesperson blasted before The ban was “nothing more than political drama”.

“The ban on the use of TikTok on federal devices was passed without any consideration last December, and unfortunately, this approach has become a blueprint for other world governments,” the spokesperson added.

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