Senate Bill On Chinese Tech Ban May Include TikTok
Virginia Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, wants to present legislation this week that would allow the US to systematically ban Chinese technology, including applications like TikTok.
Democrat Warner described the idea as “a broad bipartisan bill” that will be co-sponsored by Republican John Thune of South Dakota. He claimed the law will allow the US the authority to ban or prohibit foreign technology as needed. When asked if this will include TikTok, the senator confirmed.
“You have 100 million Americans on TikTok for 90 minutes every day,” Warner said. “They are taking data from Americans, not keeping it safe. But what worries me more with TikTok is that this can be a propaganda tool.”
This comes after the House Foreign Affairs committee last week voted to advance legislation that would make it easier to ban TikTok from the US and to crackdown on other China-related economic activity.
The bill, introduced on Friday and pushed through by committee chair Michael McCaul, would give US President Joe Biden’s administration the authority to enforce a nationwide TikTok ban under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
The bill specifically names TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, and requires Biden to impose penalties on the companies, up to and potentially including a ban, if the administration determines they may have knowingly transferred TikTok’s user data to “any foreign person” working for or influenced by the Chinese government.
Warner also warned that China poses a greater threat to the US than the Soviet Union, and that early ideas that integrating China into the global economy would lead to greater liberalization were incorrect.
“I think for a long time, conventional wisdom was, the more you bring China into the world order, the more they’re going to change. And that assumption was just plain wrong,” he added.
The bill comes at a time when TikTok is facing increased scrutiny amid fears that data on US users could end up in the hands of the Chinese authorities. For its part, the White House gave government organizations 30 days to guarantee that TikTok is not present on any federal devices or systems. More than 30 states in the United States, Canada, and the European Union have also prohibited TikTok from being loaded onto state-owned devices.
In an interview with CNBC, CIO Hayman Capital Management Kyle Bass underscored the security threat present in the growing popularity of TikTok’s, saying that the Chinese app “is basically able to start changing the way our young people think.”
“Imagine if we had that ability in China,” Bass said. “We don’t have that, they ban all our social media.”
TikTok responded last week on the House bill to potentially ban the app in America, saying the move is also “a ban on the export of American culture.”
“We’re disappointed to see this rushed piece of legislation move forward, despite its considerable negative impact on the free speech rights of millions of Americans who use and love TikTok,” said the company.
The proposed bill’s details have not yet been released, but a spokesperson for Warner stated that an announcement is due on Tuesday.
Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg, Reuters, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.