If you’re following the news cycle, you’ve likely heard whispers about a potential ban on TikTok based on concerns that the app presents a national security risk.
Yesterday, The Biden administration officially threatened to ban TikTok from the United States unless the app’s Chinese owners agree to spin off their share of the social media platform.
The apparent ultimatum by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) marks a possible turning point in the long-running negotiations between federal officials and the widely popular social media company, which boasts more than 100 million US users.
This is the first time the presidential administration has explicitly threatened to ban, and it’s likely to be met with a legal challenge from TikTok.
The company is “disappointed in the outcome,” said the TikTok spokesperson about the demand.
The U.S. has a number of concerns about TikTok and has maintained the app presents a national security risk. Washington is concerned that American user data on TikTok could fall into the hands of the Chinese government, due to a law in China that compels firms to hand over information to Beijing if they are requested to do so. TikTok has repeatedly stated that U.S. user data is not stored in China where those laws apply.
Washington is also concerned that TikTok could be used for influence operations by China.
A TikTok spokesperson said divesting the business would not resolve the U.S.’s concerns.
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