Biden’s supervisor is considering banning TikTok nationwide if the Chinese parent company doesn’t get rid of it

The Biden administration has confirmed that TikTok’s Chinese parent company is divesting itself of the popular social media platform, or could face a potential nationwide ban, TikTok confirmed to CBS News on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal mentioned that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) recently requested divestment, and a TikTok spokesperson did not dispute that account.

The Treasury Department, of which CFIUS is a part, declined to comment. The White House and National Security Council also declined to comment.

“If protecting national security is the goal, then divestment does not solve the problem,” TikTok spokeswoman Maureen Shanahan told CBS News in a statement.

“The best way to address national security concerns is transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems, with the robust third-party monitoring, auditing, and verification that we already implement,” Shanahan added.

A TikTok spokesperson also said it wasn’t entirely clear what the divestment would actually look like, and no specific details about this were provided to the company. It was not clear if the company was given any kind of deadline.

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has already been Prohibited by federal government agencies, including military devices, and more than half of US states have banned the app on state government devices as well. he was there Increase bipartisan support To impose a complete nationwide ban on potential national security concerns.

TikTok is a modern-day Trojan horse [Chinese Communist Party]It’s a spy balloon in your phone,” Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said in February, which is used to monitor and exploit Americans’ personal information.

in letter To the CEOs of Apple and Google, Democratic Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote in February, “Unlike most social media platforms, TikTok is a unique concern because Chinese law obligates ByteDance, which is based in Beijing. It has a parent company, “for support, assistance and cooperation with the work of state intelligence.”

Like CBS News Previously mentionedTikTok, like many other technology companies, tracks users’ personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses, contacts, and WiFi networks.

“We have national security concerns,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said last year. “The possibility includes that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users.”

Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, told CBS News in December that concern is exaggerated and “makes for good politics.” He said TikTok collects less data than other social media apps and shifts user data to servers in the United States, out of reach of China.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is set to testify Before the House Energy and Commerce Committee later this month, he is expected to face tough questions about the company’s data collection and sharing procedures.

Caitlin Yelick, Scott MacFarlane and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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