The Biden administration has turned up the heat on the popular social media app, TikTok threatening to ban it from the United States if it’s Chinese owners don’t agree to spin off their share of the social media platform. This according to a statement from TikTok
The apparent ultimatum comes from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is aimed at TikTok’s links to China where the app originated and is currently used by more than 100 million Americans.
The divestiture request was first reported Wednesday by the Wall Street Journal, with TikTok later confirming to CNN that CFIUS had contacted the company, and that it did not dispute WSJ’s report while declining to discuss specifics.
“If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem,” TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanahan said in a statement.
“A change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.”
China reacted to the news by accusing the United States of “unreasonably suppressing” TikTok and spreading “false information” about data security.
“The US side has so far failed to produce evidence that Tik Tok threatens US national security,” said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a press briefing.
Last week FBI Director Christopher Wray told a U.S. Senate hearing that TikTok “screams” of security concerns.