Bipartisan support for potential TikTok ban in the US
The US and Canadian governments have deemed TikTok a national security threat, and with the revelation that the company spied on journalists, orders have been issued to prohibit workers from having the app installed on work devices. The possibility of a national ban has existed since the Trump administration took a harder stance against China, and now powerful Senator Mark Warner is openly considering moving such a ban forward. He, along with Republican Senator John Thune, will introduce a bill setting up a framework to ban or prohibit foreign technology. When asked if this includes TikTok, Warner replied “one of the potentials”.
The bill already has early bipartisan support, with Reuters reporting that the US House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to authorise President Joe Biden to ban TikTok at his will. Warner expressed concerns over the circulation of ideological content or propaganda on the app and the fact that TikTok is taking data from Americans and not keeping it safe.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is reportedly struggling to mount a case for itself, with the Chinese company instituting a hiring freeze on an external monitoring council it hoped would appease US regulators. Both ByteDance and the Chinese government have come out against the prohibitions in the US and Canada.
At the very least, TikTok fans in the US would not be lacking alternatives if the app were to be banned.