The U.S. government is urging Chinese owners of the popular TikTok app to sell their shares or face bans of the app. The Wall Street Journal reports. If the message is true, it means America’s way of dealing with TikTok is getting tougher. The US has been worried about the practice for years.
TikTok is currently owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Twenty percent of the shares are owned by the founders of the company, but their words weigh heavily. The Chinese government should approve such a sale, and the real question is whether it will happen.
The company had previously admitted that some of its employees had access to the data of users in the US and Europe, and for this reason it has long been criticized. That’s why the app is already blocked by the authorities for fear of spying, as happened in Belgium last week. TikTok has always denied that the Chinese government has or will have access to user data.
“There is no solution to the worries”
TikTok responded to the Wall Street Journal article that the sale will not resolve the concerns. A TikTok spokesperson told the business daily, “If the goal is to protect national security, selling won’t solve the problem: a change of ownership does not impose new restrictions on data flow.”
Still, according to sources, Bloomberg reported yesterday morning that TikTok is considering leaving the Chinese company.
China’s foreign minister said this morning that the US government has yet to present any evidence that there is a threat to US national security. In India, the app has already been banned due to similar concerns.
Trump also threatened to ban it.
In 2020, the US government under then-President Trump also threatened to ban the practice. Then the judge put an end to it, so the ban did not last. The app was then unavailable in the US app stores for several days.
Now, President Biden’s administration has also come to the fore for the first time. In the US, the app has more than 100 million users. Two out of three users are young.
Jason Jack is an experienced technology journalist and author at The Nation View. With a background in computer science and engineering, he has a deep understanding of the latest technology trends and developments. He writes about a wide range of technology topics, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, software development, and cybersecurity.