Sale demanded – US increasing pressure: TikTok is now threatened with a total ban!

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With a view to possible misuse of user data, the US is stepping up pressure on the Chinese video platform TikTok. As the “Wall Street Journal” reports, Washington has given Chinese parent company Bytedance an ultimatum: either Bytedance sells its shares in the app or TikTok is completely banned in the US. Beijing on Thursday urged Washington to stop its “unjustified suppression” of the video app.

According to the “WSJ”, the ultimatum was issued by the US authority CFIUS. This is responsible for the risk assessment of foreign investments for national security. For months, there have been concerns in the US and other Western countries that the Chinese state would gain access to TikTok user data through Bytedance. Experts have long warned that the app could be used by the Chinese Communist Party for espionage or propaganda purposes.

TikTok confirmed the advance of the US authorities. A spokesman told AFP that a ban or sale “is unnecessary because neither option solves the larger industry problems of data use and transfer”. The best way is a third-party verified, “transparent, US-based protection of US user data”.

Beijing wants to see proof
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing on Thursday that Washington has not yet provided any evidence “that TikTok threatens US national security.” The issue of data security should not be used “to abuse state power and unfairly suppress other countries’ companies,” he added.

The White House initially declined to comment on the reports. The U.S. Senate introduced a bipartisan bill last week that would allow the U.S. to “prevent certain foreign states from using technology services . . . in a manner that violates Americans’ confidential information and our national security.” The Restrict Act gives the Secretary of Commerce new powers that would make it easier to ban the app.

More than a billion users worldwide
With more than a billion users worldwide, TikTok is especially popular with the younger generation. You can make short videos, an algorithm will suggest videos to watch. The use of the short video service has recently increased sharply in the US, including among older internet users. There, more than 100 million people use the app. TikTok has already overtaken other networks such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in terms of time spent on it.

In late February, the White House ordered the app removed from all US federal government devices. The European Commission and several other governments have made similar decisions for their officials’ mobile phones.

China’s approach is one of the few issues on which US Republicans and Democrats agree. The daylong overflight of a suspected Chinese spy balloon – krone.at reported – over several top-secret US nuclear weapons depots in January and February worried US authorities. A US fighter jet shot down the white balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4.

Source: Krone

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