Reuters reports that in an effort to safeguard sensitive U.S. data, multiple states have already banned the Chinese-owned app TikTok, leading the U.S. Treasury Department to take a bold step and demand that its Chinese owners, ByteDance, divest from the platform to prevent a nationwide ban.
Here's a full list of the US states that have introduced full or partial TikTok bans on government devices over mounting security concerns https://t.co/tM2fXHOvr3
— Insider Tech (@TechInsider) January 15, 2023
According to a press release on March 7th, concerns over national security have surrounded the Chinese-owned app TikTok since its creation. Conservative lawmakers have been particularly vocal, citing reports that Chinese employees had access to user data. In response, Republican John Thune of South Dakota and Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, are collaborating on a bill that would authorize the Commerce Department to manage the dangers of foreign technology, with TikTok as a primary concern.
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 15, 2023
Biden administration demands TikTok’s Chinese owners spin off their share or face US ban https://t.co/CWW6B6eZ9D
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 16, 2023
In a prepared statement to the DCNF, TikTok spokeswoman Maureen Shanahan stated that divestment would not resolve the issue. Nevertheless, the U.S. Treasury Department holds the view that it does, given their demand that ByteDance divest from the app to avoid a U.S. platform ban.
The fact that a Chinese-owned company has managed to establish a strong presence in the U.S. is worrying, and it comes as no surprise that the Trump administration is taking measures to safeguard American citizens from possible security hazards related to this app. Moreover, it is concerning that ByteDance, the Beijing-based creator of the app in 2012, owns 20% of the app, with the remaining 60% being held by global investors, as per The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. Treasury Department's call for ByteDance to divest from TikTok is a positive move towards shielding American citizens from potential security dangers linked to this Chinese-owned app. It is crucial that we remain cautious and take all essential measures to guarantee that foreign entities do not jeopardize our national security. Additionally, we must stay alert to other potential hazards posed by Chinese-owned companies and take action to protect our citizens from them.