TikTok confirmed on Wednesday that US officials have advised the popular video-sharing app to split from its Chinese parent ByteDance to avoid a national ban.
Western powers, including the European Union and the United States, have taken an increasingly tough approach to the app, citing concerns that user data could be used or misused by Chinese officials.
“If the goal is to protect national security, then calls for a ban or expropriation are unnecessary, as neither option addresses the broader issues of data access and transfer.” TikTok spokesperson said AFP.
“We remain confident that the best way to address national security concerns is through transparent, US-centric protection of US user data and systems with strong third-party monitoring, verification and verification.”
On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal and other US media reported that the White House had issued an ultimatum if TikTok is here to stay Part of ByteDance, it will be banned in the US.
“This is all a high-stakes poker game,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors.
Washington is “clearly putting more pressure on ByteDance to strategically sell this key asset in a major move that could have significant ripple effects,” he continued.
Last week, the White House welcomed a bill introduced in the US Senate that would allow President Joe Biden ban TikTok.
The bipartisan bill would “give the US government the ability to prevent certain foreign governments from providing technology services … in ways that pose risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our national security,” said Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser. statement.
The bill’s introduction and swift White House support accelerated political momentum against it TikTok, which? Also the target of separate legislation in the US House of Representatives.
Getting tough on China is one of the rare issues that has bipartisan support in both the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Senate, where Biden’s Democratic Party holds the majority.
American officials were alarmed earlier this year after a Chinese balloon, which Washington says was on a spy mission, flew over US airspace.
TikTok claims it has more than a billion users worldwide, including more than 100 million in the United States, where it has become a cultural force, especially among young people.
Activists argue the ban would be an attack on free speech and stifle the export of American culture and values TikTok users around the world.
In January, US government employees were banned from working Installing TikTok on their government-issued devices.
Government employees in the European Union and Canada are also prohibited from downloading the app to their work devices.
According to the Journal report, the ultimatum to Here comes TikTok by a US interagency council responsible for assessing the risks of foreign investment to national security.
US officials declined to comment on the report.
TikTok has It has consistently denied sharing data with Chinese officials and says it has been working with US authorities for more than two years to address national security concerns.
Time spent by users TikTok has has surpassed spending on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and is closing in on streaming TV titan Netflix, according to market tracker Insider Intelligence.