US President Joe Biden faced pressure to ban short form video service TikTok over national security concerns from a prominent opponent of Chinese companies, after the government acquired a stake in the service’s parent ByteDance.
Outspoken Senator Marco Rubio reignited a fight to block the app in the US, claiming China will hold one of three board seats in Beijing ByteDance Technology, which controls some licences for the domestic versions of TikTok and news portal Toutiao.
“The Biden administration can no longer pretend TikTok is not beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio stated, adding China’s “aggressiveness makes clear that the regime sees TikTok as an extension of the party state, and the US needs to treat it that way”.
Former US President Donald Trump unsuccessfully attempted to ban TikTok and WeChat over national security concerns.
Rubio called for a “framework of standards” to be established governing access to the US by a “high-risk, foreign-based app”.
In June, President Biden ordered the Commerce Department to review potential security threats posed by China-based software companies.