TikTok’s future in the US has perhaps never been in more doubt than it is right now. Since its introduction to the US in 2018, the short-form video app has been fighting against increased scrutiny from US lawmakers about its ties to ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns it.
Concerns that ByteDance could share TikTok user data with China’s government and push disinformation or propaganda through its recommendation algorithm have resulted in partial bans. (There’s no evidence, at least not publicly, that this has ever happened.) Several bills that would ban TikTok outright have also been introduced. There’s a parallel set of concerns that TikTok is dangerous to children and teens, an issue with many social media platforms that’s been taken up by Congress in the past year.
The Biden administration has demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners divest, or sell off, their stake in the app or face a possible US ban. That would take the potential Chinese threat out of the equation entirely — but only if ByteDance and China agree to it.
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