- The US House Foreign Affairs Committee voted 24 to 16 on Wednesday to give Pres. Joe Biden the power to ban TikTok, the social media app owned by Chinese company ByteDance.1
- The legislation was introduced last Friday and was fast-tracked by committee Chairman Michael McCaul. If passed, the Biden admin. would have the power to ban TikTok under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).2
- All 24 Republicans voted for the measure while all 16 Democrats voted against it, with ranking committee Democrat Gregory Meeks expressing concern it would 'damage' US global allegiances, send more companies to China, and 'undercut' the American values of free speech and free enterprise.3
- This comes amid a pending review of the app by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is attempting to determine whether Beijing can undermine national security by accessing personal data via TikTok.4
- The Biden admin. has admitted it has 'concerns' surrounding the app, with the White House recently giving federal agencies 30 days to remove it from all government-issued devices.5
- Meanwhile, TikTok — which has been negotiating data security regulations with CFIUS for over two years — has denied that the Chinese government has access to users data.1
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by China paranoia. The current scrutiny of TikTok by the Biden administration and the West is nothing more than an ideologically motivated move. There's no evidence to support these allegations, and the hysteria in the US is merely an attempt to clamp down on Chinese tech companies. The ghost of McCarthyism still haunts the US through incredible paranoia surrounding anything Chinese.
- Anti-China narrative, as provided by New York Post. Not only are there legitimate concerns over data security, but also over the effects the app has on children as TikTok burrows into the minds of American youth. Even if the app wasn't developed specifically as a Chinese propaganda tool, it has certainly become one. The fact that China's domestic version — Douyin — limits those under 14 to educational videos shows its intentions for the outside world.