US Government Demands ByteDance to Divest from TikTok Over National Security Concerns

Russell Kidson
Mar 16, 2023
Updated • Mar 16, 2023

The US government's demand for the sale or potential ban of TikTok has sent ripples throughout the tech industry and beyond, with many questioning the implications of such a move. The popular app's Chinese ownership and its vast data collection practices, including biometric and location data, have raised significant concerns about the potential for sensitive information to be accessed by foreign governments. 

Related: TikTok’s shady business practices revealed

US Government Demands ByteDance to Divest from TikTok Over National Security Concerns

The request for a change in ownership, which was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal, has been confirmed by TikTok, and has sparked debate about the role of national security in the digital age. As tensions between the US and China continue to escalate, the future of TikTok remains uncertain, and its fate may have far-reaching consequences for the global tech industry.

In response to the US government's call for a change in ownership, TikTok has maintained that a forced sale would not impact its data flows or access. However, the uncertainty surrounding the potential divestiture has left many questions unanswered, and the lack of response to many media outlets from the White House has only added to the confusion. 

This issue has been a long-standing concern for American officials, who fear that TikTok's data collection practices could make the app vulnerable to exploitation by the Chinese government. As tensions between the US and China continue to mount, the fate of TikTok remains uncertain, and its ability to maintain its popularity and user base in the US may be at risk.

Related: Gen Z still prefers TikTok for news

As per the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) has unanimously recommended ByteDance divest from TikTok to create a clear break from China. The CFIUS oversees national security risks in the US. A spokesperson for TikTok has acknowledged the WSJ's report and confirmed that it was contacted by the CFIUS. 

However, the spokesperson said that the reporting was exaggerated, and it was unclear what "divestiture" meant in practice. The spokesperson further added that changing ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. According to the spokesperson, the best way to address national security concerns is through transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems.

The prospect of a TikTok ban in the US was initially raised in 2020 under the Trump administration. However, President Biden's administration has also expressed concerns about the social network. TikTok collects vast amounts of user data, including biometric and location data, similar to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. There are concerns that this information could be shared with the Chinese government. In response to these concerns, TikTok has initiated a plan called Project Texas to relocate all US-based data to the US.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. just an Ed said on March 17, 2023 at 4:10 am

    Find find all this amusingly hypocritical given how much data the US inteligence community grabs from everyone everywhere. Of course, WE can be trusted./s

  2. ilev said on March 16, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    Big chunk of TikTok is owned by the Muslim United Arab Emirates.
    Would the flow of data sent the to United Arab Emirates, known for suppressing humans rights, be better than data sent to China ?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.