The Trump Administration is moving closer with a ban of popular Chinese app TikTok.
The US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin stated on Wednesday that TikTok is under a federal government review, with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the US) taking a look at it.
CFIUS is the part of the government that reviews deals by foreign acquirers for potential national security risks. It was instrumental in the potential hostel takeover of Qualcomm by Broadcom – which ultimately ended up not happening.
The President was also asked about it before leaving the White House to go to Texas, and said that they are “thinking about a decision on the matter.”
TikTok is seen as a national security risk
The administration has been talking about possibly banning TikTok for a few months now. As the app is seen as a national security risk. Not only because it is a Chinese app, but because of the data it collects and puts on servers in China.
Both the RNC and DNC have already told its staffers not to use the app, and remove it from their devices. The Biden Presidential Campaign has followed suite, telling its staffers to remove it from their devices.
Amazon had also reportedly told its employees to remove TikTok from any device that access Amazon email. Though that was later said to be a “mistake” by Amazon.
This also comes after India banned the app – along with over 50 other Chinese apps. This was a big blow to TikTok, seeing as India was its largest market, by a wide margin. The US is its second largest market, so this would also be a big deal for TikTok.
ByteDance is looking to sell TikTok to a US Company
Because of all that’s going on with TikTok lately, ByteDance – the app’s parent company – has reportedly started looking to sell the app to a US company. Though, ByteDance would likely want to keep a small stake of the company, considering how big the app is, outside of China.
TikTok’s America head is a former executive from Disney. So they are moving in the right direction of getting more people on-board in the US. Likely as a way to keep from getting the app banned in the US.
TikTok isn’t as popular in China as you might expect, which is rather crazy. Considering how much the Chinese support its homegrown apps and products. And ByteDance selling the app, might be the best move for TikTok.