Friday, Bloomberg reported that Trump will “sign an order” directing TikTok ’s Chinese owner Bytedance to sell off the service.Bytedance doesn’t deny that it censors its Chinese services in line with government rules, but the company says it operates TikTok, which is not available in China, differently.
Absent hard proof, what’s left are more extrapolated dangers, like whether the Chinese government, which the US says was responsible for a notorious series of breaches at American institutions, would pilfer user data from TikTok, or censor content on the platform the way it tightly controls the internet within its own borders.
It wasn’t the first time this month that lawmakers have questioned the security and content moderation practices of TikTok. Two weeks ago, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) called for the Committee on Foreign Investment to investigate ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of , a lip-syncing app popular in the US that was later merged with TikTok. On Twitter, Rubio said he was concerned TikTok is “censoring content in line with #China’s communist government directives.”.