Us lawmakers seek to add TikTok parent company to export control list

The lawmakers are concerned about ByteDance’s access to American user data and potential national security risks.

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A group of fifteen US lawmakers, led by Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw and Democrat Josh Gottheimer, both members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, requested that the Commerce Department adds ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to its foreign entity list.

The joint letter, sent to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, expressed concerns about TikTok’s access to personal data from US citizens – and the possibility that this data could be shared with the Chinese Communist Party – as well as with potential national security risks associated with TikTok.

The goal of the lawmakers is to introduce licensing restrictions to the export of software from the U.S. to be used in ByteDance applications. If American users were not able to upgrade their TikTok app, the use of the platform in the U.S. could decline.

In response to the lawmakers’ claims, TikTok asserted that the letter “ignores the industry-leading work we’ve done to safeguard protected US user data”, including Project Texas, an initiative to shield Americans’ data from foreign interference.

Source: Reuters and The Hill