A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to ban the Chinese social media app TikTok in the United States, citing concerns over spying.
The popular social media platform, which is used by roughly 80 million people across the U.S., is owned by Chinese company ByteDance — which has extremely close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, released a statement about the legislation.
🚨 Sen. Rubio, @RepGallagher, and @CongressmanRaja introduced bipartisan and bicameral legislation to ban @tiktok_us.
Read more 👇https://t.co/awoKiY6b9E
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) December 13, 2022
“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” the statement read.
Experts have noted that TikTok is invasive, as the app collects far more information from users’ cell phones than other social media applications.
Due to the fact that Chinese law requires companies to share all data with the Chinese Communist Party upon request, the threat of information gathered from users’ phones potentially being passed on to the CCP has led many state governments to ban TikTok from being used on devices provided to all state employees and agencies, as well as contractors. Texas, Maryland, and South Dakota have all instituted such bans.
“We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections,” Rubio’s statement continued. “We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.”
Rubio also appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” to discuss the dangers of TikTok.
Why are we still allowing @tiktok_us to operate in America when we know for a fact that the Communist Party of #China openly uses it to steal the data on our phones, interfere in our elections & push their propaganda pic.twitter.com/lTGZjb8zlz
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 7, 2022
The bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok was sponsored by Rubio, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).
In a statement to The Hill, TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter claimed that the bill was politically motivated.
“It is troubling that rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States,” she argued.
Oberwetter then explained that the Chinese social media company has plans to “further secure” their platform within the United States.
In what many experts have said was partly a reaction to the news of the potential ban, the stock price for Meta — the parent company of social media platform Facebook, jumped by 4.74%.