Daily Review: Why Is the U.S. Targeting TikTok?

Daily Review: Why Is the U.S. Targeting TikTok?
Rep. Kat Cammack questions TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew during a congressional hearing on the platform’s consumer privacy and data security practices, in Washington, March 23, 2023 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today that would force the owner of TikTok, the Chinese company ByteDance, to sell the popular social media platform or face a ban in the United States. The bill still requires approval from the Senate, where it faces a more uncertain path, as well as from President Joe Biden, who said he would sign the legislation if it clears Congress. (New York Times)

Our Take

This legislation is a significant walkdown from the outright bans that lawmakers in the U.S., as well as in other liberal democracies, have threatened in the past. Those raised significant concerns about government overreach and infringements on media freedom and online freedom of speech.

Still, the move to try and force ByteDance to sell TikTok is driven by the same two main concerns, both of which stem from the fact that ByteDance is a Chinese company. U.S. lawmakers fear the Chinese government may:

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