HomePoliticsChina just proved why Congress wants to ban TikTok

China just proved why Congress wants to ban TikTok

  • A bill to force ByteDance to divest from TikTok is making its way through Congress.

  • Lawmakers are concerned about ByteDance’s ties to China, given the amount of user data Tiktok collects.

  • The Chinese embassy has reportedly lobbied against the bill.

China proved the usefulness of the TikTok ban through Congress after Chinese embassy officials reportedly lobbied against it recently.

News of the hostile country’s push against the bill was reported by Politico on Wednesday after more than a year of congressional deliberation on the issue. The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill in mid-March that, if passed, would require TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to divest the app within 180 days or risk being banned in the US.

The core of the concerns about the massive social media app stem from ByteDance’s reported ties to the Chinese government. Critics of ByteDance — including former TikTok employees — have accused the company of funneling sensitive U.S. user information to China, even after TikTok assured lawmakers that its vast trove of U.S. user data was safe.

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Additionally, studies have shown that TikTok’s more than 100 million monthly U.S. users use the platform for news. Given recent reports that China is using social media to influence elections in Taiwan, congressional officials such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have expressed concerns that China could use TikTok to interfere in the upcoming 2024 elections.

TikTok itself has waged an all-out war against the proposed legislation in recent months, prompting US-based users to contact their local lawmakers to vote against it – even CEO Shou Zi Chew traveled to Washington, DC, to attempt to join the lobby.

Members of Congress reportedly already were frustrated by TikTok’s digital plea to users before the House of Representatives voted on the ban. The Chinese embassy’s private push against the bill will likely only reinforce the legislature’s disdain for TikTok.

President Joe Biden has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk, even though it could hurt his re-election bid.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

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