TikTok faces a direct challenge to its continued operations in the US. The Biden administration is reportedly demanding that TikTok be sold from Chinese parent company ByteDance or it may be banned. The question was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and later on The New York Times.
The threat from the White House is an escalation of the limited bans and pending legislation that have been bubbling up for some time. In late February, the Biden administration said federal agencies would have 30 days to remove TikTok from government devicesand similar restrictions are scattered across dozens of U.S. states.
A bill introduced earlier this month would give the Secretary of Commerce the ability to ban foreign companies from operating in the US if there are threats to national security — a key reason why some elected officials have said TikTok should be banned. TikTok has said that user data is not stored in China and has proposed a deal with the US government that would shield ByteDance’s US operations to address their concerns. The Wall Street Journal reported in December that negotiations between TikTok and Washington had stalled and that the future of the deal seemed uncertain.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The edge.