Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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TikTok could be banned in the United States if its Chinese owner doesn’t sell up


TikTok could be banned if Chinese company ByteDance doesn’t sell its shares.

ByteDance


TikTok could find itself banned in the United States if its Chinese parent company doesn’t sell its stakes in the company, according to a new report.


TikTok is owned by Chinese outfit ByteDance and has often come in for criticism for that fact. Some are worried that the links to China could leave users’ data at risk, and now the app itself could be shut down over those concerns.

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Reuters reports that ByteDance told it that the Biden administration has threatened to ban TikTok. The video-based social network has more than 100 million users across the United States and has proven stiff competition for the likes of YouTube and Instagram. In fact, both companies have changed their own apps to better compete with TikTok. YouTube even launched Shorts, a direct competitor to TikTok.

While this is the first time that the Biden administration has threatened a ban, the move isn’t a first. President Donald Trump tried to ban the app in 2020 but that move was blocked.

“TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter told Reuters that the company had recently heard from the U.S. Treasury-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which demanded that the Chinese owners of the app sell their shares, and said otherwise they would face a possible U.S. ban of the video app,” the news outlet reports.

ByteDance confirmed to Reuters that 60% of its shares are owned by global investors, while 20% are owned by employees. The remaining 20% is owned by the company’s founders.

Some are concerned that a Chinese company like ByteDance could be compelled to hand information on its users over to the Chinese government, although the company has already made moves to prevent that by moving International user data beyond Chinese borders.

The United States government has already banned TikTok from its devices over security concerns but it isn’t clear whether a countrywide ban is feasible given likely legal objections.



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