U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week appeared on FOX Business Morning to discuss what she said was TikTok’s link with the Chinese Communist Party.
Blackburn discussed these matters with host Maria Bartiromo.
“You have to look at what [ByteDance’s] participation would be, and at a more granular level, you have to look at what would happen with the data from U.S. consumers,” Blackburn said referring to a TikTok-Oracle Deal.
“How would this be transported? Is it held within the U.S.? Does ByteDance have visibility into that?”
Blackburn went on to say that “we do not need to let [China] get control over U.S. consumer data and allow them to expand their spy network. Period. End of sentence. That is it.”
The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday and will bar the apps from accessing essential internet services in the U.S. — a move that could effectively wreck the operation of both Chinese services for United States users.
TikTok won’t face the most drastic sanctions until after the November 3 election, but WeChat users could feel the effects as early as Sunday.
The order, which cited national security and data privacy concerns, follows weeks of deal making over the video-sharing service TikTok. U.S. President Donald Trump has pressured the app’s Chinese owner to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company to satisfy U.S. concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.
California tech giant Oracle recently struck a deal with TikTok along those lines, although details remain foggy and the administration is still reviewing it. Trump said Friday that he was open to a deal, noting that “we have some great options and maybe we can keep a lot of people happy,” suggesting that even Microsoft, which said its TikTok bid had been rejected, might continue to be involved, as well as Oracle and Walmart.
The new order puts pressure on TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, to make further concessions, said James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Trump had said this week that he does not like the idea of ByteDance keeping majority control of TikTok.
TikTok expressed “disappointment” over the move and said it would continue to challenge what they called Trump’s “unjust executive order.” The Commerce Department is enacting an order announced by Trump in August. TikTok sued to stop that ban.
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Tali Arbel, Matt O’Brien, and Matt Ott report for The Associated Press. Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Marsha Blackburn” by Marsha Blackburn.