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The US is threatening to ban TikTok again if owners don’t sell

It’s a complex issue with valid arguments on both sides.

tiktok us flag and chinese flag

Here we go again. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Biden administration is reportedly threatening TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their stake in the app or face a potential ban in the US.

Yup; it looks like the popular social media platform could be in hot water over concerns about national security and user data.

So, how did we get here? The US government has been increasingly concerned about what data TikTok collects and shares about US citizens.

Currently, the app has an estimated 80 million monthly active users in the United States. Naturally, officials worry that user data could be passed on to the Chinese government.

TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter responded in a statement to Reuters: 

“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems.” 

tiktok logo with blurred smartphone in the background

TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, has repeatedly said it does not share data with the Chinese government.

But that hasn’t been enough to appease lawmakers, who are taking steps to ban the app nationwide.

For example, the House Foreign Affairs Committee recently voted to advance a bill that would empower President Joe Biden’s administration to do just that. What plays out from here is anyone’s ball game.

TikTok’s popularity has only increased fears among lawmakers and the US government about what data the app collects and shares about its users.

tiktok screen time management screen

Hey, it’s a touchy subject

So what’s the deal? It’s a complex issue with valid arguments on both sides. On the one hand, TikTok is a beloved app that allows millions of people to connect, create and share content.

On the other hand, the government has a responsibility to protect national security and ensure that user data is handled responsibly.

Again, it’s anyone’s ball game, so buckle up; we’ll be in for a ride. This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last. Take the list of some of our previous coverage as proof.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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