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The Biden administration is doing a 180 on its TikTok policy. When Biden took office, he revoked a Trump-era executive order aimed at banning TikTok downloads. Now, Biden's administration is looking to bank TikTok in the U.S. if the app's Chinese owners don't agree to sell their shares.
The threat comes amid knowledge that ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, has ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
TikTok spokesperson, Maureen Shanahan, said in a statement, "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 best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing."
Shares of other social media companies, Meta and Snap, jumped in after-hours trading Wednesday evening after it was announced that the Biden administration was considering banning TikTok in the U.S. if Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance refuses to divest its stake.
Meta shares rose more than 2 percent, while Snap shares surged almost 7 percent in response to a report from The Wall Street Journal that TikTok could be banned in the U.S. if its parent company does not comply with the Biden administration's demand.
Both U.S. lawmakers and government officials have expressed concerns that TikTok poses a national security threat due to its Chinese ownership. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said recently, "This competition with China around who dominates technology domains, that really is where the nexus of national security lies going forward."
The House Foreign Affairs Committee also advanced a bill earlier this month that moved the process of banning TikTok forward.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to blast politicians for opposing his previous attempt to ban TikTok. "Has anybody noticed that everyone wants to go after, and destroy, TIKTOK due to China influence and National Security. When I wanted to disable TIKTOK 3 years ago, I was met with opposition from RINOS to Democrats to everyone else. They actually went to court in an effort to stop me. now they realize I was right, and have changed their tune. Sadly, I've been right about everything!" Trump wrote.
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