Representatives from the US Department of Justice will meet with senators regarding the alleged national security threat posed by TikTok. The Senate is set to vote on a bill aimed at forcing the sale of the app, under the threat of a ban.

Briefing meetings

Meetings are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The threats posed by the exploitation of sensitive American data by foreign adversaries, including those related to TikTok, will be discussed. Similar meetings were held with members of the House of Representatives before their vote last week, during which the legislation was approved.

The application has been in Washington’s crosshairs since 2020 when the Trump administration attempted to ban it. The government is particularly wary of potential ties between its parent company, ByteDance, and the Chinese authorities. It cites, for example, legislation forcing all companies to share their data with Beijing if requested.

Espionage and dissemination of propaganda are among the top concerns of American policymakers, especially as tensions between China and the United States continue to escalate. TikTok, on the other hand, continues to deny these allegations. The company has implemented a plan costing over $1.5 billion to store American data locally. However, legislators remain unconvinced by these efforts.

The Department of Justice heavily favors a forced sale of TikTok to an American entity rather than outright banning it. China has consistently stated that it would reject such a proposal.

TikTok’s operations in the United States continue to grow.

With such an opportunity, candidates are not lacking. This is evident as the platform reportedly generated $16 billion in revenue in the United States in 2023, according to the Financial Times. This performance underscores the magnitude of its operations in the country.

Taking into account Douyin’s revenues in China, ByteDance generated $120 billion in the same year, marking a 40% year-on-year growth. Continuing at this pace, it could soon surpass Meta.

TikTok strongly reacts, stating that the bill represents a blatant ban on the platform. They argue it would violate the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a vital growth and job creation platform.

Recently, the app has been urging its users to contact their senators and discourage support for the bill.

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