Does TikTok have a future in the US?

The US House of Representatives has voted in favour of a bill that poses a threat to the future of the social media app TikTok. To be allowed to continue to operate in the US, the short-video platform would have to change ownership there, since its Chinese parent company Bytedance is considered to be bound by the directives of the Chinese Communist Party. The bill will now be discussed and put to vote in the US Senate, where its approval is less certain.

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Avvenire (IT) /

We'd be better off without this creature

Avvenire would like to see the tail end of TikTok:

“It's hard not to envy the US, which may soon be rid of TikTok. The reasons for the bill passed in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday relate to national security: the members of Congress don't trust an app that could pass on data to the Communist Party just as any other Chinese company does. ... There is, however, a well-founded suspicion that the accusations against TikTok are a flimsy pretext and that America's main aim is to help the Californian giants Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to get rid of a feared rival. In any case, the link with the Chinese government is just one of the features that make TikTok an unsavoury creature that we would no doubt be better off without.”

The Times (GB) /

Action needed in other areas too

The US urgently needs to take measures in other areas as well, The Times warns:

“The threat from TikTok is not negligible and concerns seem justified. Imagine if, during the first Cold War, a Soviet-backed entity owned a business that had a similarly deep reach into Americans' lives. ... It's hard to resist the conclusion that, in this Cold War, dealing with social media - in all kinds of ways - is what American policymakers do best. Making hard choices about higher taxes or reduced social spending to shore up the nation's flagging military is another thing entirely.”

La Croix (FR) /

Europe also needs to protect itself

Not only Washington, but also Brussels, must keep a close eye on TikTok, La Croix insists:

“On this side of the Atlantic the conflict is more muted, but TikTok must be held accountable here as well. The European Union has passed legislation requiring the major platforms to monitor the content they disseminate. ... In this way, the Union protects consumers, one of the areas of competence assigned to it by the member states. But issues of political sovereignty are just as real here as in the US. Hostile powers are rushing to use TikTok and other social networks such as X and Facebook to influence users' opinions, behaviour and voting patterns. Here, utmost vigilance is required. Democracies must protect themselves.”

France Inter (FR) /

Financial reasons behind Trump's turnaround

France Inter explains why ex-president Trump is against a TikTok ban:

“One surprise in this affair, however, was Donald Trump's stance. The former president tried in vain to ban TikTok during his time in office. Now he has made a sudden U-turn and spoken out against the ban. The explanation is simple: one of the big financial supporters of his campaign - and Trump desperately needs money - billionaire Jeff Yass, owns 15 percent of the capital of [Beijing-based TikTok operator] Bytedance. That equates to 20 billion US dollars - enough to change Donald Trump's mind, much to the displeasure of his supporters in Congress.”