us politics

Is TikTok On The Way Out Of The United States?

The Chinese-owned app has been under increasing pressure from U.S. lawmakers. Is TikTok On The Way Out Of The United States? Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

News that is entertaining to read

Subscribe for free to get more stories like this directly to your inbox

A number of government entities and other institutions have already banned Chinese-owned TikTok from official devices, but the social media app remains incredibly popular among the general United States population.

Federal lawmakers in both parties, however, have serious concerns about the way the platform monitors users and stores data, which has resulted in a widespread push to implement a nationwide ban.

Hashing it out

TikTok’s CEO was on Capitol Hill this week in an attempt to reassure legislators that the app is safe to use and changes are underway that will put all user data in U.S. control.

“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Shou Zi Chew asserted.

Thus far, though, his comments haven’t been enough to convince many critics — including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who said: “TikTok has repeatedly chosen a path for more control, more surveillance and more manipulation.”

Will it happen?

While there’s plenty of criticism to go around, imposing a ban on the app is hardly a sure thing. The biggest hurdle that lawmakers would have to clear is TikTok’s sheer popularity.

In short, the company might be too big to ban. Here’s a look at its scope:

  • Since 2018, it’s been downloaded more than any other social media app in the U.S.
  • Data indicates about 150 million Americans use TikTok … 50 million more than in 2020.
  • The company is poised to rake in a whopping $11 billion in U.S. ad revenue by next year.

If it does happen, a host of competitors are ready to seize on the opportunity.

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels, which allows video uploads on Facebook and Instagram, have been growing substantially and could become the go-to apps for TikTok users if it is ultimately banned.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee March 24th, 2023
Share this story: