Biden Administration demands TikTok to sell stakes
(NBC) - A source close to TikTok confirms to NBC News that the Biden Administration has demanded that TikTok's Chinese owners, ByteDance, sell their stakes in the app or face a possible ban in the US.
This marks a dramatic shift in the Biden Administration's policy toward the hugely popular app, which has 100 million users.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, the administration is demanding TikTok's Chinese owners sell their stake in the social media giant or face a possible ban of the app here in the U.S.
Such a ban would likely face major legal challenges before being enacted.
NBC news reached out to the White House and Treasury overnight but didn't immediately hear back.
The issue here is growing fears that China could use the app to access Americans' data.
Particularly because of a national security law there that requires companies to turn over customer data if requested by government officials.
China is saying this morning that the U.S. has failed to prove that TikTok threatens national security.
A spokesperson for TikTok issued a statement overnight writing in part, "If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn't solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access."
The company went on to suggest that the best way to address user data safety and national security concerns is with, "Robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing."
This latest move comes amid mounting pressure from Republicans who say that President Biden hasn't been tough enough on TikTok.
NBC news says some Republicans reacted to this news saying it is the right move.
But also accused the President of making this shift due to the looming 2024 elections.
Tiktok's CEO is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill next week to address these security issues.