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Friday, Apr 19, 2024

Some US security officials are considering calling for TikTok owner ByteDance to sell US unit, report says

Some US security officials are considering calling for TikTok owner ByteDance to sell US unit, report says

Some members of the US government's security apparatus are considering the possibility amid "security concerns," the Wall Street Journal reported.
Some US government officials are reportedly considering calling for TikTok's US unit to be sold in order to allay issues they've already been working for years to address with the ByteDance-owned social media app.  

Security officials who are part of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. have been considering such a plan, the Wall Street Journal reported. A representative for TikTok told Insider in a statement on Monday that the company has been cooperating with the US government "for over two years to address all reasonable national security concerns about TikTok in the U.S." 

"We believe those concerns can be fully resolved, and CFIUS is currently considering a comprehensive solution that addresses key concerns around corporate governance, content recommendation and moderation, and data security and access," said Brooke Oberwetter, a representative for TikTok. 

"We have made substantial progress on implementing that solution over the past year, and look forward to completing that work to put these concerns to rest," Oberwetter said.   

Regardless, some US officials believe that concerns about data security and potential propaganda directed at US users of the app would be better addressed by a possible sale of TikTok's US unit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the talks. 

A representative for CFIUS could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. 

China-based ByteDance said earlier this month that its own internal review showed that its employees accessed data belonging to two journalists in the US, among others in the country, the New York Times reported. 

Congress has also pushed the issue, with the US Senate voting earlier this month to stop US government employees from having the app on government-issued phones.
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