The White House is backing a bill that would give it the authority to ban TikTok nationwide | TikTok
The White House said it supports legislation introduced by a dozen senators on Tuesday that would give the administration new authority to ban the Chinese-owned video app TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose a national security threat.
The approval bolsters efforts by several lawmakers to ban the popular ByteDance-owned app, which is used by more than 100 million Americans.
The bill would give the Commerce Department the authority to impose restrictions, including banning TikTok and other technologies that pose a national security risk, said Sen. Mark Warner, Democrat, chairman of the intelligence committee.
He said this also applies to foreign technologies from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.
TikTok said in a statement that “the US ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billions of people who use our service around the world.”
The bill would require Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to identify and address foreign threats to information and communications technology products and services. Raimondo’s office declined to comment.
The group, led by Warner and Republican Sen. John Thune, includes Democrats Tammy Baldwin, Joe Manchin, Michael Bennett, Kirsten Gillibrand and Martin Heinrich, and Republicans Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Dan Sullivan, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, Warner’s office said. .
Warner said it is important for the government to do more to clarify what it believes are national security risks to the United States from the use of TikTok.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan praised the bipartisan bill, saying it would “strengthen our ability to address the discrete risks posed by individual deals as well as the systemic risks posed by certain groups of deals involving countries in sensitive technology sectors.”
“We look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans on this bill and urge Congress to act quickly and send it to the president’s desk,” he said in a statement.
TikTok has come under increasing fire amid fears that user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining Western security interests.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will appear before Congress on March 23.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee last week voted across party lines on a bill sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul that would authorize Biden to ban TikTok after then-President Donald Trump was blocked by the courts in 2020 to ban the app along with Chinese messages. application WeChat.
Democrats opposed McCaul’s bill, saying it was rushed and needed due diligence through debate and consultation with experts. Some major bills targeting China, such as the Chips funding bill, took 18 months to win approval. McCaul said he believes the full U.S. House of Representatives could vote on the bill this month.