The Biden administration is trying yet another blow against TikTok. The US government is trying to force the app’s Chinese owners to sell their shares. In the event of refusal, the United States threatens once again to completely banish the social network from the territory. Of course, this one does not intend to let it go so easily.
It’s been a particularly difficult first quarter for TikTok, which is facing the growing hostility of the West from his view. In Europe, initial measures have already been taken, in particular at the level of the Commission which now prohibits its members from using the application, or more recently in France with the opening of an investigation into its algorithm by the Senate. But, as for two years now, it is in the United States that the real war is taking place.
Since the first blows struck by the Trump administration, and the multiple revelations about the spying practices of the application, TikTok has not had a moment’s respite in the country of Uncle Sam. The arrival of Joe Biden in power has only accelerated things, as the Wall Street Journal reveals this week. Indeed, the government has found a new method to bend the application to its will: force its Chinese shareholders to sell their shares.
Another attempt by the United States to ban TikTok
Currently, 60% of TikTok’s shares are held by international investors, 20% by employees and 20% by its creators. It is therefore the latter, as well as all employees residing in China, who could soon be forced to sell their shares. If the Biden administration does not specify who could buy them, it is easy to imagine that it would be American investors.
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TikTok’s reaction was quick. “If the goal is to protect national security, divestment does not solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose new restrictions on data flows or access,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement.
Instead, the company pleads for transparency, particularly in terms of the use of data, as it has already mentioned before the European authorities. As such, it has undertaken to invest $1.5 billion in a data protection programplanning among other things to store them directly in the United States.
Source: Wall Street Journal