Hageman Votes to Force ByteDance to Divest from TikTok

Mar 13, 2024 | Politics

Washington, D.C. (RELEASE) March 13th, 2024 — Today, Congresswoman Harriet Hageman voted in favor of the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. This legislation would prevent foreign adversaries – currently defined as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia – from targeting, surveilling, and manipulating the American people through online applications like TikTok.

Representative Hageman stated, “With user data on millions of Americans and over 210 million downloads in the United States, TikTok is a clear and present danger to our national security. Due to the structure of laws governing business under the Chinese Communist Party, this user data is not only available to parent company ByteDance, but also to the Chinese government. The potential for nefarious uses, spying, and manipulation of data is of significant concern. We have often talked about Communist China’s land ownership in America being a threat to our security – this data ownership is equally dangerous.

“For users of TikTok, this legislation does not ‘ban’ the app, but rather forces the Chinese Communist Party controlled ByteDance to divest of its ownership stake in the app.”

Background:

 

  • The Act prohibits marketplaces—like app stores and web hosting services—from hosting applications controlled by foreign adversaries of the United States, including the PRC, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. This includes applications like TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled ByteDance.
  • If TikTok is divested, it can continue to operate in the U.S. If the restrictions are already in effect and TikTok is divested later, the restrictions will be lifted. The President, in coordination with all Executive branch agencies, including the national security and intelligence agencies and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), decides when a divestment is complete.
  • No enforcement action can be taken against individual users of a banned application.
  • This Act does not provide any authority related to domestic entities that are not controlled by a foreign adversary.