'We Do Not Intend To Ban' The App


Vice President Kamala Harris said the Biden administration does not aim to ban the video-sharing social media app, TikTok, owned by China-based company ByteDance.

A bill with the potential to ban the app in the U.S. passed in the House earlier this month with a 352-65 vote and is sitting in the Senate where its future is unclear. President Joe Biden has said he intends to sign the bill if it passes in the Senate.

“We do not intend to ban TikTok. That is not at all the goal or the purpose of this conversation. We need to deal with the owner, and we have national security concerns about the owner of TikTok, but we have no intention to ban TikTok,” the VP said on ABC’s “This Week” with journalist Rachel Scott.

“It’s an income generator for many people, what it does in terms of allowing people to share information in a free way, in a way that allows people to have discourse. It’s very important,” Harris continued.

More than 170 million Americans use the app, with a creator economy that has contributed to an industry worth more than $250 billion.

The bill would prohibit “foreign adversary controlled applications, such as TikTok and any successor application or service and any other application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Ltd. or an entity under the control of ByteDance Ltd.” If passed, ByteDance would be forced to sell the app, otherwise it would be banned in the U.S.

Many lawmakers and advocates of the bill are concerned that the app jeopardizes national security in the U.S., and that it can be used to spread propaganda or sway elections.

The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, previously said during a congressional hearing last year that U.S. data is “stored on American soil by an American company overseen by American personnel.”

In a TikTok video posted earlier this month, Chew pleaded with users to urge Senators not to pass the bill.

“Over the last few years, we have invested to keep your data safe and our platform free from outside manipulation,” Chew said. “We have committed that we will continue to do so. This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States.”

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