The Wall Street Journal reports the Biden Administration is demanding that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the popular video-sharing app TikTok, sell their piece of the app or face a possible ban in the United States.
The sale demand was made recently by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius—a multi-agency federal task force that oversees national security risks in cross-border investments—said people familiar with the matter.
The move is just the latest move in a U.S. crackdown on the Chinese-owned video app. The app is already the focus of several local, state, and federal government restrictions.
In February, United States Senator Michael Bennet released an open letter to Apple and Google executives, urging them to remove the social app from their app stores, claiming the app poses a specific threat to US national security.
In August 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving China-based ByteDance 90 days to sell its TikTok business in the United States, citing evidence of possible national security threats.
In the order, the Trump administration claimed there was “credible evidence” to suggest ByteDance “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
US President Joe Biden in June 2021 revoked several executive orders from former President Donald Trump that banned Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the United States.
In related news, the BBC News reports that TikTok is set to be banned on phones and other devices used by British government ministers and civil servants on security grounds. Canada, Belgium, and the European Commission already bar the app from being installed on government phones.