American leaders have effectively thrown Huawei and a handful of Chinese surveillance technology companies out of the country, warning darkly of the national security and privacy threats of installing Made-in-China products into sensitive parts of the nation’s electronic infrastructure.
Now they have cast their fearful gaze on a new Chinese target: the dancing and singing teens and tweens of TikTok.
A secretive federal panel with a national security focus is reviewing the purchase of TikTok two years ago by a Chinese company called Bytedance, The New York Times and othersreported last week. Three senators have asked the Trump administration to review potential national security and privacy threats posed by the app, warning that Bytedance could strip out content that displeases the Communist Party, such as videos of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
TikTok denies that it censors political content. Videos supporting the protesters and declaring “Reclaim Hong Kong!” can be found on the app.