Six extra U.S. senators on Friday backed bipartisan laws to give President Joe Biden new powers to ban Chinese language-owned video app TikTok on nationwide safety grounds because the Chinese language firm ramped up efforts to get its story heard in Washington earlier than an essential listening to subsequent week.
Earlier this month, 12 senators led by Democrat Mark Warner and Republican John Thune unveiled laws backed by the White Home to give the Commerce Division new powers to handle TikTok that has greater than 100 million US customers.
The announcement comes after TikTok stated this week the Biden administration demand its Chinese language homeowners divest their stake within the firm or it might face a possible US ban.
Biden’s predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, had tried to ban TikTok in 2020 however was blocked by US courts.
The laws, the Proscribing the Emergence of Safety Threats that Threat Data and Communications Expertise (RESTRICT) Act, now has 9 Republicans and 9 Democratic sponsors to handle fears ByteDance-owned TikTok’s US consumer knowledge could possibly be handed on to China’s authorities.
Individually, a supply confirmed to Reuters Friday the Justice Division has opened a felony investigation after ByteDance stated in December some workers improperly accessed US TikTok consumer knowledge of two journalists.
Reuters reported in December 4 ByteDance workers who have been concerned within the incident have been fired, together with two in China and two in america. Firm officers stated they have been taking extra steps to guard consumer knowledge.
ByteDance workers accessed the information as a part of an unsuccessful effort to research leaks of firm info earlier this yr, and have been aiming to establish potential connections between two journalists.
TikTok’s chief government officer Shou Zi Chew will seem the primary time earlier than Congress when he testifies earlier than the Home Power and Commerce Committee on March 23.
TikTok stated content material creators will come to Washington subsequent week to make the case why the app shouldn’t be banned. “Lawmakers in Washington debating TikTok ought to hear firsthand from folks whose lives could be immediately affected by their choices,” TikTok stated Friday.
By David Shepardson and Echo Wang; Editor: Diane Craft
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