Newspaper: The United States is calling on the Chinese owners to sell their shares in TikTok

Photo: ANP

The US government is calling on TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their stake in the popular video app or risk a possible US ban on the app. This was reported by the Wall Street Journal business newspaper based on insiders. This would make Washington want to act more seriously than it has done so far.

TikTok is owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance and has come under fire for some time since the company admitted some employees had access to data on users in the US and Europe. More and more governments and parliaments are banning TikTok on their employees’ work phones and other business devices for fear of data theft and espionage.

In the US, TikTok is also currently under national security review by the Committee on Foreign Investment (Cfius). This committee is looking into a number of measures that TikTok wants to take to allay concerns within the United States about national security. Dubbed Project Texas, that plan involves recruiting US technology company Oracle to manage US user data and appointing a US-approved board of trustees.

Tiktok itself believes that forced selling does not solve security concerns at all. “If protecting national security is the goal, selling won’t solve the problem: A change of ownership won’t impose new restrictions on data flow,” a TikTok spokeswoman said Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The US Treasury Department, which Cfius heads, declined to comment.

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