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TikTok is under scrutiny as the Biden Administration looks into Chinese ownership

There may be pressure on the Chinese owners of TikTok to sell. A new report from The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources saying that some officials in the Biden administration are “pushing for a sale of the Chinese-owned company’s U.S. operations to ensure Beijing can’t harness the app for espionage and political influence” due to the security concerns surrounding the popular social media platform.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States discussed the possibility of a forced sale, with advocates for the sale coming from the Pentagon and the Department of Justice. The fear is that the Chinese government may use TikTok to collect data on users in the United States and censor material “in an effort to influence US public opinion.”

ByteDance, a Chinese media corporation, is the owner of TikTok. A request for comment from CNET was met with silence from TikTok.

There has been a significant uptick in TikTok-related national security concerns. Reports surfaced earlier this month suggesting that national security concerns might delay discussions between the Biden administration and the app about its US operations. Certain states, including Virginia and Georgia, have restricted the app’s usage on government-issued devices or networks, while some colleges and institutions in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alabama have done the same.

TikTok’s ownership and its impact on national security has been a source of worry for some time. When it came to social media, the Trump administration tried and failed to get the US to prohibit it.