Banning TikTok in the United States would amount to “shooting itself in the foot,” accuses China

TikTok is still in the crosshairs of the American authorities

Banning TikTok in the United States would amount to “shooting itself in the foot,” accuses China

TikTok is still in the crosshairs of the American authorities. The House of Representatives is examining a bill on Wednesday, March 13, which provides for the banning of the platform in the United States, if the social network does not cut ties with its parent company, ByteDance, and more broadly with China. For several months, many officials have believed that the short video platform allows Beijing to spy on and manipulate its 170 million users in the United States.

Before the vote, China said a ban would “undermine the confidence of international investors” and would amount to “shooting itself in the foot” for the world's leading power, according to a diplomatic spokesperson. Chinese, lambasting “intimidation” against TikTok. “The United States has never found evidence that TikTok threatens its national security,” Wang Wenbin recalled during a press briefing.

The vote is expected to take place at 10 a.m. (3 p.m. Paris time) and the bill is expected to be adopted by an overwhelming majority in a rare moment of understanding between the two parties at loggerheads. On the other hand, the fate of the bill is uncertain in the Senate, where prominent figures oppose such a radical measure against an extremely popular application.

President Joe Biden will, if it reaches his desk, sign this text, officially known as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.” , said the White House.

National security risk

The measure, which passed unanimously in committee last week, would require ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, to sell the app within 180 days or it would be barred from TikTok's app stores. Apple and Google in the United States. It would also give the president the power to designate other apps as a threat to national security if they are controlled by a country considered hostile to the United States.

Several states and the federal government have banned use of the app on official government devices, citing national security risks. Washington's renewed offensive against TikTok surprised the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, TikTok managers were reassured by the arrival in February on the platform of Joe Biden as part of his campaign for a second term.

TikTok categorically denies any connection to the Chinese government and has restructured the company so that US user data remains in the country. TikTok Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shou Zi Chew is in Washington, where he is trying to drum up support to block the bill.

Republican Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, like the White House, argue that the bill is not a ban on TikTok, as long as the company cuts ties with ByteDance. Former President Donald Trump reversed course, saying Monday that he opposed a ban mainly because it would strengthen Meta, the owner of Instagram and Facebook, whom he called an “enemy of the people ".