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Threat to national security: The USA wants to ban TikTok

The American government is considering the possibility of banning TikTok. The House of Representatives has already approved such a bill (video broadcast). ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has Chinese founders with a central office in Beijing.


Chinese laws could force the company to hand over user data to the "national intelligence", meaning the information would end up with the authoritarian government of China.

Previously, TikTok use was banned on government phones and devices in the USA, and now this restriction is expected to apply to all citizens of the country. "TikTok is a Chinese Trojan horse in the lives of Americans. It threatens the privacy of our children, as well as their mental health," said Republican Senator Josh Hawley.

ByteDance will be given nine months to sell the social network. But this bill still needs to be supported by the Senate and then signed by the President of the USA. Joe Biden promised to sign it in case of such approval.

ByteDance CEO Shu Zi Chu is trying to convince American congressmen of the safety of his social network, and tightening data confidentiality can be done without a nationwide ban on the application. After all, ByteDance recently fired four employees who tried to use TikTok data to track down journalists' sources.

According to business media reports, ByteDance does not want to sell the application and is asking its multi-million user base to join protests against the TikTok ban in America. " “There are more than 100 million voices in this country, and I think it’ll be a real shame if our users around the world are not able to hear them anymore,” Chu said in an interview with The Washington Post hinting at the number of American application users.

As part of the campaign to save "Private TikTok," Chu met with Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, but the politician said that the entrepreneur's arguments were not convincing to him. However, representatives of the Chinese company reported some progress with Democrat Cory Booker, saying that he offered some support in case the company "works with American intelligence" on "appropriate precautionary measures."

It should be noted that TikTok is a private company (with a potential valuation of $100-150 billion) with a large number of Western investors and thousands of American employees. But it is clear that the guarantee of data security would be a complete exit of the service from under the control of China, as it is difficult to imagine that any local business would risk going against the Chinese government.

All this fuss unfolds against the backdrop of tense US-China relations, with the story of the spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina still fresh.

Тhe USA is not the only country ready to take such radical measures. Currently, TikTok is partially or completely banned in Afghanistan (the platform's content "does not comply with Islamic laws"), Australia, Belgium, the UK, Denmark, India, Nepal (due to "disruption of social harmony"), the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Somalia, and Taiwan. Other countries are also ready to join them.
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