US officials and lawmakers have raised concerns that TikTok's user data could be given to China's communist government.
The app, owned by ByteDance, has over 100 million users in the US. 60 percent of the company’s shares are owned by global investors, 20 percent by employees and 20 percent by its founders, according to the company.
Former President Donald Trump tried to ban TikTok in 2020 but was blocked by the courts. Shortly after revealing to journalists on Air Force One his planned actions, Trump signed an executive order banning transactions between ByteDance and US-based users of the app, according to NPR. In 2020, under pressure from then-President Trump, ByteDance attempted to finalize a deal with Walmart and Oracle Corp to shift TikTok's US assets into a new entity but was ultimately unsuccessful. Another deal with Microsoft also fell through.
Shortly after Biden took office, he dropped his predecessor's attempt to ban the app in the United States.
Brooke Oberwetter, spokesperson for TikTok told Reuters that the US Treasury-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) demanded that the Chinese owners of the app sell their shares or they would face a possible ban of the video app in the US.
CFIUS unanimously recommended in 2020 that ByteDance sell TikTok.
Last month, the Biden administration gave federal agencies 30 days to remove the app on government devices and systems, joining over 30 states that have also banned employees from using TikTok on government-owned devices.
Last week, the White House supported legislation from a dozen senators that would grant the administration the ability to ban TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose national security threats.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted along party lines on a bill that would require the administration to ban TikTok and other subsidiaries of ByteDance.
According to Reuters, TikTok’s Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear before Congress next week.
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