A group of House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee requested a classified briefing from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on potential national security threats posed by the popular social media platform TikTok, along with other technology companies with alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Reps. Steve Scalise (LA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) and Greg Walden (OR) express similar concerns about the use of TikTok, and the motives of its parent-company, ByteDance:
“We write to you with significant concerns regarding the threats to our national security and to liberties around the globe posed by technology companies with direct or indirect links to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” they write. “This increased reliance obligates us to ensure technology companies are protecting our citizens’ information, with a heightened focus on uniquely dangerous threats, such as those companies with ties to the CCP. The CCP’s recent behavior in Hong Kong has confirmed our concerns. Specifically, although TikTok left the Hong Kong market for seemingly virtuous reasons, its parent company,ByteDance, and other Chinese companies eagerly take its place. This is nothing more than a data collection shell game by ByteDance as it freely shares Hong Kong citizens’ data with the Chinese Communist regime.”
President Trump foreshadowed a potential ban on the social media platform on account of national security concerns:
Trump: "We're looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok." pic.twitter.com/i5WEstwFfS— The Recount (@therecount) July 31, 2020