TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, should be taken off of app stores run by Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) and Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) because the short video social media app threatens national security, a Democrat on the intelligence committee wrote in a letter on Thursday.
Congress has already banned the app from being used on federal government devices. However, the app is getting more and more criticism because people are worried that China’s government could use it to gather information about Americans or further Chinese interests.
Bennet wrote in a letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook that no company that has to follow orders from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should be able to collect so much information about Americans or choose what content to show to almost a third of them.
“Given these risks, I strongly suggest that you take TikTok off of your app stores right away,” he wrote.
Before Bennet’s letter, most of the talk about TikTok and national security concerns came from Republicans. However, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin had already asked Americans to stop using the app.
The Republican-controlled House’s Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a vote this month on a bill to stop Americans from using TikTok, the committee confirmed.
In 2020, when Donald Trump was president, he tried to stop new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have stopped TikTok from being used in the U.S., but the courts stopped him.
The company says that China’s government can’t get into the personal information of US citizens or change what’s in the app.
Shou Zi Chew, who is the CEO of TikTok, is going to talk to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee in March.