Aug 7, 2020
 in 
Politics

Could Trump put a Potential ban on TikTok in the U.S?

 BY 
Kristin Kerr
C

ould Trump put a potential ban on TikTok in the U.S? Yes, this is something that’s been a hot topic for quite some time now. Here’s everything you need to know about the recent restrictions against the popular, short-form video application.

Ban on TikTok: An Ongoing Battle

To break things down, TikTok is owned by a Chinese technology company, ByteDance, but is headed by former Disney executive Kevin Mayer. It gets confusing because ByteDance is essentially TikTok’s Chinese parent company. TikTok has taken its own precautions to distance itself from ByteDance; however, concerns have been raised about the Chinese government’s approach to collect data and privacy for current, as well as foreign citizens. Trump, Republicans and Democrats in Congress fear the Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok as a way to spy on Americans.

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How would Trump go about Putting a ban on TikTok?

The first way to go about banning TikTok in the U.S. would be to order Apple and Google to remove the app from its online stores. Doing so would prevent new users from downloading the app. Existing users would still have access to the app, but would no longer receive notifications or be able to install updates.

Alternatively, another option would be to insist local internet service providers block access to TikTok's servers. Lastly, the more favoured approach from Congress is to ban TikTok from being installed onto federal employees’ work devices.

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Current state

Last month the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and Trump said TikTok may be banned. In August, Microsoft confirmed in talks to acquire the business in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Microsoft would essentially be seen as a more trustworthy organization to secure any data TikTok collects.

Just two weeks ago, The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill banning federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices, amid threats from the White House to ban the company. TikTok has until September 15 to either sell its U.S. operations to Microsoft, or face an outright ban.

What about the TikTok team?

A TikTok spokesperson said it's growing U.S. team has no higher priority than promoting a safe app experience that protects user privacy. The app has hired 1,000 people to its U.S. team in the last year and has plans to hire another 10,000 employees.