US mulls bill to ban TikTok nationwide over security concerns


The US plans to ban the Chinese short video-making app TikTok nationwide, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a vote next month on a bill to completely block the platform.

According to reports, the bill will give the White House the legal power to ban TikTok over larger national security concerns.

Last month, the Chinese short-form video-making app was banned on mobile devices issued by the US House of Representatives. The House ordered staff to delete TikTok from all mobile phones.

A TikTok spokesperson told South China Morning Post that a total ban of the app is a “piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy and online harms”.

“We hope that lawmakers will focus their energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems they’re concerned about or make Americans any safer,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Local administrations in 19 US states have already banned TikTok on government issued-devices.

TikTok is currently negotiating a deal with the US Justice Department to resolve national security concerns.

Earlier reports claimed that China-based ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, accessed data of at least two US journalists and a “small number” of other people connected to them.

In October last year, TikTok denied that it used specific location data to track certain U.S. individuals, pushing back against a Forbes report that alleged the app was planning on carrying out such monitoring.

In June, TikTok said it started routing US user data through Oracle to appease concerns that China-based employees could access U.S. information.

In 2020, India banned TikTok and several other Chinese apps for allegedly sharing user data with China.

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