Trump Opposes a Congressional Bill Targeting TikTok Ownership

Former US President Donald Trump condemns a congressional bill aiming to compel TikTok’s parent company to divest the app or face a US ban, arguing it favours Meta, the owner of Facebook.

Trump, who sought to ban TikTok during his presidency in 2020, deems the proposed legislation advantageous to Facebook’s expansion, labelling Facebook as detrimental to the public interest.

Congress deliberates on a proposal mandating ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to sell the platform by September 30, prompting President Joe Biden’s commitment to sign the bill upon approval.

Expressing concerns about TikTok’s security, Trump acknowledges the platform’s popularity among users but echoes apprehensions about its potential threats to national security, aligning with US intelligence warnings regarding China’s exploitation of TikTok to undermine US democracy.

Trump’s critique underscores heightened political scrutiny of social media platforms as the 2024 presidential election approaches. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, experienced a stock plunge following Trump’s remarks, signalling investor jitters amid regulatory uncertainties.

This isn’t the first time TikTok has faced scrutiny. In 2020, Trump issued an executive order mandating ByteDance to divest TikTok within 90 days, citing national security concerns. Legal challenges impeded its implementation.

Amid the TikTok debate, conservative lobbying group Club for Growth, supported by Trump, opposes the proposed ban. Trump’s ally, Kellyanne Conway, advocates for TikTok’s interests, underscoring the political ramifications surrounding the app’s ownership.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department, FBI, and national security officials prepare to brief House members on TikTok’s implications, reflecting growing bipartisan consensus on addressing TikTok’s ownership.

The bill’s unanimous approval by a congressional committee signifies bipartisan support for scrutinising TikTok’s ownership, requiring Senate endorsement for enactment into law.

The evolving TikTok saga underscores complex geopolitical dynamics intertwined with the tech industry, highlighting ongoing efforts to regulate social media platforms amidst concerns over national security and data privacy.