U.S. tells Chinese firm to sell TikTok or face ban
The U.S. government has told the Chinese firm that owns TikTok to sell the app or face a ban.
According to the New York Times, two people familiar with the matter said the White House had, in a renewed call, demanded TikTok, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance to sell the social media app.
President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly considered the decision to force TikTok to change its ownership necessary over recent concerns that China could request Americans’ data from the app.
In recent weeks, the White House has been negotiating with TikTok to find an agreement to safeguard its databases, thus invalidating a need for ByteDance to sell its shares in the app.
However, the U.S. government could ban TikTok in America if the company does not comply with the White House’s demands to reform the app as the Biden administration continues to back legislation allowing it to ban TikTok in the U.S.
Maureen Shanahan, a spokeswoman for TikTok, said the app was weighing all the options available and expressed disappointment with the new demands from the White House.
“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,” Ms Shanahan said in a statement.