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US Senator says White House ‘very in favor’ of bill to ban TikTok nationwide

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Washington: The administration of US President Joe Biden is “very in favor” of a bipartisan bill to ban Chinese video-sharing app TikTok nationwide for safety reasons, US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner said.

In early March, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a bill that will allow the US government to ban TikTok or any other foreign app if they are believed to be a threat to national security. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan praised the bill, saying that it could provide protection against “countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors.”

“I think the White House is very in favor of this bill,” Warner told CBS’s Face the Nation show, when asked whether the US government wanted the draft law to be passed.

The senator added that TikTok might not only jeopardize the privacy of US users, but also be a “propaganda” tool.

“One of my bigger fears … [is] how that channel could be used for propaganda purposes or disinformation, advocated by the [Chinese] Communist Party,” Warner said.

On Thursday, the US House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing to hear testimony from TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, whom US lawmakers questioned about the platform’s data privacy practices and alleged ties to the Chinese government. Chew noted TikTok’s efforts to safeguard US user data and denied claims that the platform colluded with the Chinese government. However, US lawmakers still expressed skepticism about Chew’s claims and called for a ban.

Currently, there are over 150 million TikTik users in the United States. TikTok access from government devices is prohibited in more than half of US states due to security concerns about user data being accessed by the Chinese government.

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