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TikTok Faces U.S. Ban Over National Security Concerns

Daniel Kim Views  

▲ 지난달 13일(현지시각) 미 워싱턴 국회의사당 주변에서 소셜미디어 틱톡 애호가들이 틱톡을 지지하는 동영상을 촬영하고 있다. 사진=뉴시스
Photo=Newsis

The famous Chinese social media app TikTok is facing potential expulsion from the U.S. due to national security concerns.

TikTok has vehemently opposed this, arguing that the forced sale being pushed by the U.S. House of Representatives is an oppression of freedom of expression.

According to Reuters on April 21, TikTok stated in a release that, regrettably, the U.S. House has once again pushed through a bill that tramples on the rights to free speech of 170 million Americans under the guise of essential foreign and humanitarian aid (jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights).

On April 20, the U.S. House passed the National Security Budget Package bill, with 360 votes in favor and 58 against, out of 435 seats.

The bill, which primarily supports disputed regions and U.S. strategic points such as Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, also provides that if TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, does not sell its U.S. business within 270 days, the service will be banned in the U.S.

The president can extend the sale deadline by 90 days.

The backdrop to this sale bill is that ByteDance is essentially subordinate to the Chinese government, and national security concerns have been raised.

There are concerns that the personal information of Americans using TikTok could be leaked to the Chinese government, thus China could use TikTok to spread false information and interfere in the upcoming November elections.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, explained that “many young people use TikTok to watch news, which shows the potential of TikTok as a new propaganda tool” and that “providing the Chinese Communist Party with the ability to scrape the personal information of 170 million Americans is a national security risk.”

In response, the Chinese government has opposed the U.S.’s pressure on ByteDance, a legitimate company registered under U.S. law.

TikTok has been vocal against the forced sale bill since February, calling it “censoring millions of Americans.”

The U.S. House’s attack on TikTok provoked immediate backlash from the Chinese government, including approval for the expulsion of U.S. company WhatsApp.

Chinese authorities criticized, “We will not allow TikTok to be sold to a foreign company,” and “U.S. protectionism is undermining its important spirit.”

Former TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer also pointed out that “TikTok is an independent company” and “As far as I know, it has no relationship with the Chinese government or any other government. This situation is wrong and violates the media and the First Amendment.”

However, the industry expects the package bill, up for a Senate vote on April 23, to pass without issue.

This is because the TikTok Ban Law, passed by the House as a separate bill in March, is pending in the Senate, and its passage is uncertain, so it was included in a bill that is difficult for the Senate to reject.

U.S. President Joe Biden also stated, “If the TikTok ban law is placed on my desk, I will sign it immediately,” expressing strong support for the bill. This leads to the predominant view that TikTok may have difficulty avoiding expulsion this time.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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