The organization says that the Biden organization has requested that TikTok’s Chinese proprietors strip their stakes in the well-known video application or face a potential US boycott.
The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is the most significant of recent actions taken by US officials and legislators in response to concerns that TikTok’s US user data could be given to the Chinese government. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, has more than 100 million US users.
It is the initial time under the organization of President Joe Biden that a likely prohibition on TikTok has been compromised. Republican Donald Trump, Biden’s predecessor, attempted to prohibit TikTok in 2020, but the courts prevented it.
Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, told Reuters that the company had recently received information from the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), led by the US Treasury. According to CFIUS, the app’s Chinese owners were urged to sell their shares or face a possible US ban on the video app.
According to the Journal, global investors own 60% of Byte Dance’s shares, employees own 20%, and the company’s founders own 20%. Byte Dance was unanimously advised in 2020 to divest from TikTok by the powerful CFIUS body.
“Divestment doesn’t solve the problem if the goal is to protect national security: According to Tiktok’s Oberwetter, “a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access.”