Banning TikTok in the U.S. can cause collateral damage to American companies in China

Following the spotting of a Chinese surveillance balloon floating over Billings, Montana, U.S. politicians have started calling out ByteDance’s TikTok for also taking part as a surveillance tool sent from China. Last month, a bill was presented by Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, asking his government to ban the short video platform in the country, as he believed TikTok was being used to spy and the data was being sent back to China.

Ever since TikTok went viral in the U.S., it became a common topic for U.S. representatives, who kept bringing it up from time to time in an attempt to restrict China's tech influence. With the all-time high demand for banning the app, it is feared that banning policies won’t be limited to TikTok alone but will also include other Chinese companies, including Shein, a clothing brand, and Temu, an e-commerce company.

However, according to Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel, the legislation to shut down TikTok in America can make China shut down American businesses including iPhone’s parent company, Apple. With the U.S. government going after one of China’s biggest companies, it could trigger retaliation by the Chinese government against American companies.

According to one of the Chinese representatives, the United States has a habit of using tech and trade in their politics under the protection of national security. The representative further added that such measures go against market guidelines. As a result, China will also be taking similar measures. Many experts have suggested that the U.S. government can make strict user privacy guidelines for apps working in the region.

The short video platform is quite famous in the country. Due to the app’s strong influence on its users, it is feared that the upcoming generation is most likely to get highly influenced by the platform; hence, TikTok keeps finding itself under fire from U.S. representatives.

Furthermore, it is also feared that China’s Intelligence rules will force ByteDance to release the data of American users to their government. It is believed that if the U.S. government can construct strict rules regarding data collection and privacy, most of the issues can be resolved. However, such inflexible laws can act as a double-edged sword that will affect American companies, which also work based on data collected from users. But at the same time, it appears to be the only way to break the deadlock.

Read next: TikTok Turns To Showcase Its Value To The American Economy Amid A Potential US Ban
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