SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Is TikTok getting banned in the U.S.? This is what millions of teens across the country are worried about lately, but plenty of Americans don’t even know what ‘TikTok’ is and why President Trump is pushing so hard for a TikTok ban.
TikTok is a fairly new video-sharing app that has seen huge success in America recently. Most videos shared are of dancing or of comedic skits. According to CNN, the popular social media app was downloaded an astounding 315 million times in the first three months of 2020. Seems fairly harmless…so why is President Trump wanting to ban the app?
According to Business Insider, TikTok is owned by the Chinese internet company, ByteDance. Trump and other top U.S. officials have repeatedly called out the Chinese-owned app for allowing the Chinese government to gain access to sensitive information about American TikTok users.
President Trump has also said that TikTok, among other Chinese owned businesses, pose a threat to national security because the Chinese government has the ability to access companies’ systems under local laws. “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One last week.
According to the Washington Post, branches of the U.S. military have already banned the app from government-issued phones while the Pentagon urged its employees to uninstall the app last year due to security concerns.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has even said that he would only recommend people downloading the app, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
However, TikTok has continually insisted that it does not hand over information to the Chinese government. “We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked,” Hilary McQuaide, Head of TikTok Communications, told the media earlier this month.
With the recent talks of President Trump banning the app, Trump has publicly given Microsoft the go-ahead to pursue an acquisition of TikTok. On Monday, President Trump said at the White House that he would shutdown TikTok in the U.S. by September 15 unless Microsoft or another company purchased it.
India has already banned the app in their country while Australian officials are reportedly planning to do the same.