TV: Tick-Tock for TikTok?

By William Rinehart

Published:

President Trump’s call to shut down the popular social video app TikTok could set up a precedent for other companies doing business in America. Senior Research Fellow Will Rinehart joined Jim Lokay on The Final 5 (Fox 5 DC) to break down the President’s recent executive order, and how that could alter how the government handles private business.

Background: On August 6, the White House gave TikTok’s parent company in Beijing, ByteDance, 45 days to sell off the social media app or face a ban in the United States. Hours later, the Trump administration also dropped an executive order on Tencent, banning the WeChat app from phones with a similar deadline. Both are being targeted for their data practices.

Those in favor or opposed to the executive order on TikTok have created a false choice between an outright ban and doing nothing. This is wrong. There are a range of options the administration could take, but they all must begin with defining the clear harms caused by TikTok. We need the whole picture before outlining appropriate remedies.

According to the executive order, TikTok poses three kinds of risk. The administration accuses the Chinese government of using the app to collect data that might be used to track federal employees and blackmail them, censoring content that could be damaging to the Chinese Communist Party,and using the app in disinformation campaigns.

Read his op-ed in the Daily Caller on the TikTok ban here.

CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.