The US government is demanding that TikTok’s Chinese owners sell their stake in the popular video app or risk a US ban on the app. This was reported by business newspaper The Wall Street Journal based on insiders. Washington wants to act harder than it has done so far.
TikTok is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance and has come under fire for some time since the company admitted some employees had access to user data in the US and Europe. More and more governments and parliaments are banning TikTok from their employees’ work phones and other business devices for fear of data theft and spying.
In the US, TikTok is currently undergoing a national security review by the Committee on Foreign Investment (Cfius). The group is looking at several steps TikTok wants to take to address concerns within the US about national security. The plan, known as Project Texas, involves enlisting US technology giant Oracle to manage US user data and appointing a US-approved board of trustees.
TikTok believes that forced sales will not address security concerns. “If the goal is to protect national security, a sale won’t solve the problem: changing ownership won’t impose new restrictions on data flows,” a TikTok spokesperson said Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The US Treasury Department, which heads Cfius, declined to comment.
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