US urges TikTok to sell their stake in the popular video sharing app or be banned
WASHINGTON: The United States (US) is demanding that Chinese owners of TikTok sell their stake in the popular video sharing app or face the risk of the medium being banned in the US, a local media reported on Wednesday.
The claim was made by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) headed by the Treasury, Anadolu Agency reported.
According to reports citing Tik Tok executives, 60 percent of the shares of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance are owned by global investors, 20 percent (employees) and 20 percent (the founder).
TikTok in its response said the sale would not address the security risks the US is concerned about.
“If protecting national security is the objective, the disposal does not solve the problem, the change in ownership will not impose any new restrictions on data flow or access.
“The best way to address national security concerns is with a transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems, with the robust third-party monitoring, inspection and verification we already have in place,” TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement.
The White House has yet to comment on the report.
The Chinese-owned video sharing app, which was launched in 2016, has become very popular around the world in recent years and is set to reach 755 million global users by 2022.
Two-thirds of American teenagers are now TikTok users.
The app has been criticized for allowing the Chinese government to access users’ sensitive personal data, including location and scan history.