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US wants TikTok's owners to sell the outfit

by on16 March 2023

... or it could be banned from the land of the free

TikTok's owners have been told that it must be sold to avoid being banned in the US.

The Chinese startup ByteDance's video-sharing app is accused of creating a national security concern thanks to information obtained from millions of users. 

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), which oversees national security risks, unanimously recommended ByteDance divest from TikTok.

 TikTok confirmed a request for a change in ownership from US authorities, but said that the media was overstating US government demands. However, the spokesperson said the reporting was overstated and it was not clear what "divestiture" meant in practice.

"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 spokesperson said.

"The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems".

A ban was first threatened under then-President Donald Trump in 2020.

However, Biden's administration has taken a dim view of the social network.

TikTok hoovers up huge amounts of data on its users, similar to Instagram and Twitter, but while no one seems to care that much about their data collection goals, the Americans are quite convinced that TikTok the Chinese government was getting its paws on the popular app's data, it never offered any proof.

TikTok says it has undertaken an effort to move all US-based data to the US as part of an initiative it calls Project Texas. It told BBC News it still plans to move forward with that plan.


Last modified on 16 March 2023
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