US Government has been asked to ban the TikTok social media app.
Newsonline reports that Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has asked President Joe Biden to block the video-sharing app TikTok in the United States.
Rubio said the White House “must take immediate action to remove Bytedance and TikTok from the equation” and cited India having already banned the app in 2020 as an example to follow.
“The Biden Administration can no longer pretend that TikTok is not beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said. “Even before today, it was clear that TikTok represented a serious threat to personal privacy and U.S. national security.”
Representatives for Bytedance TikTok, and the White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The Information first reported Monday that China-owned companies bought a 1% stake in Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. Ltd., an entity that maintains business licenses pertaining to the company’s litany of apps, like the TikTok-like Douyin.
The outlet spoke to sources and viewed internal documents that showed a new stakeholder is a company called WangTouZhongWen Technology, which is owned by three Chinese state entities: one operated by the nation’s top internet regulator, China’s national broadcaster that is controlled by the Party’s propaganda department, and a governmental investment arm.
TikTok is not directly affected by the new deal and China’s acquired stake is not in Bytedance Ltd.
Rubio’s call for a TikTok ban harkens back to a Trump-era crusade against the app and its China-based parent company. Some officials, including the Florida senator, were concerned that American user data could be shared with the Chinese government.
The Trump administration issued an executive order in mid-2020 designed to force Bytedance into divesting its TikTok US operations, though a deal never materialized.
It also aimed to block the app from being available to download for American online users, though Biden tabled that executive order out in June as was expected. Biden is still, however, expanding on one of Trump’s executive orders that banned US investment in some Chinese firms.
Trump also prohibited US companies from conducting business with Bytedance and another Chinese social media platform.
Rubio’s Adversarial Platform Prevention Act , introduced in October 2020, would “establish a framework of standards that must be met before a high-risk, foreign-based app is allowed to operate on American telecommunications networks and devices,” he said. It could affect TikTok if the White House dismisses Rubio’s Tuesday plea.