TikTok Could Face US Ban Unless Chinese Owners Sell Stake
The Biden administration is reportedly demanding that TikTok's Chinese owners sell their stake in the short-form video sharing app or it could face a possible U.S. ban.
First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the demand is said to have come from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., a multiagency federal task force that oversees national-security risks in cross-border investments.
It is the latest move in a crackdown on the ByteDance-owned app, which has already been the target of government restrictions. In February, the Biden administration ordered federal agencies to remove TikTok from government devices, and dozens of state governments have since passed similar bans on the app.
TikTok has been in the cross-hairs of U.S. regulators for years, going back to the Trump administration's failed attempt to bar the app from U.S. app stores in September 2020. Concerns over the app have heightened in recent months after both Republicans and Democrats called for officials to impose stricter data collection restrictions or ban the app from the U.S. entirely.
In August 2022, ByteDance submitted a plan detailing how it plans to prevent the Chinese government from having access to data on U.S. users, and how it will offer the U.S. government oversight of the platform. However, discussions between TikTok and Washington on the issue have reportedly stalled.
In related developments, TikTok is set to be banned on phones used by British government ministers and civil servants, following a review by the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center. Canada, Belgium, and the European Commission have already barred the app from government phones.
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