US threatens TikTok’s Chinese owners with ban unless they sell app

Daily Caller News Foundation

The U.S. Treasury Department demanded TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance divest from the app in order to prevent a ban on the platform in the U.S., a company spokeswoman confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The White House announced on Jan. 13 that TikTok would be banned on all federal employee devices and multiple states had previously enacted their own bans regarding the app in an effort to protect sensitive U.S. data, according to Reuters. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department, via the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), informed the Chinese platform that it would ban the app in the U.S. if the app’s Chinese owners did not divest their shares.

TikTok spokeswoman Maureen Shanahan told the DCNF in a prepared statement that “divestment doesn’t solve the problem.”

“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,” Shanahan said. “The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.”

The app was created by Zhang Yiming and ByteDance CEO Liang Rubo in 2012 in Beijing, with 20% of the app’s ownership held by the founders and 60% by global investors, according to The Wall Street Journal. The department’s demand comes just after it was revealed that TikTok was considering splitting from ByteDance in order to assuage concerns regarding national security.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised national security concerns over TikTok’s Chinese ownership, after multiple reports have shown that TikTok user data was able to be accessed by Chinese employees.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, who is also the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Republican John Thune of South Dakota have been working to create legislation that would empower the Commerce Department to manage the risks of foreign technology, highlighting TikTok’s potential threats, according to a March 7 press release.

The U.S. Treasury Department and ByteDance did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

 All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].



Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles