The tensions surrounding TikTok in the U.S. have been building for years, but lately they have reached a boiling point. More than half of all states have either partially or fully banned TikTok on government devices. The Biden administration gave the platform an ultimatum, demanding that ByteDance, the app’s Chinese owners, spin off their share of the business or else face a total U.S. ban. In late March, members of Congress spent five hours grilling TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.
Arguably the most sensible comment during that testimony came from Chew himself: “The potential security and privacy concerns raised about TikTok are not unique to the platform,” he said. “We believe what is needed are clear and transparent rules that apply broadly to all tech companies.”