Is the US banning TikTok? White House wants social media app's parent company ByteDance to divest

White House Pushes for ByteDance to Divest TikTok Amid Potential US Ban Concerns

In Washington, the White House made it clear on Sunday that it backs a bill aimed at severing TikTok’s connections with China. This legislation would compel TikTok’s Chinese parent company to sell the app or risk being banned in the United States.

John Kirby, a White House national security communications adviser, spoke on ABC News’ “This Week,” emphasizing the administration’s understanding of American users’ concerns. Kirby stressed that the goal is not to ban TikTok. He acknowledged the significant role TikTok plays in the economic lives of many people.

The administration’s preference is for TikTok to become independent from its China-based parent company, ByteDance. ByteDance has strongly criticized the bill and argues that concerns over data usage are baseless.

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is reportedly gathering investors to bid for TikTok, indicating the seriousness of the situation.

Kirby expressed the administration’s concerns about data security. He highlighted the potential risks posed by ByteDance and the Chinese Communist Party’s access to American users’ data through TikTok.

Furthermore, Kirby commented on Israel’s military plans concerning Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip amidst the conflict with Hamas. He stated that the U.S. would not support such an operation without guarantees for the safety and security of the 1.5 million refugees in Rafah.

The U.S. is urging Israel to minimize civilian casualties and to facilitate the entry of aid trucks. This is part of efforts to secure a temporary cease-fire and ensure the safety of hostages.

Kirby also addressed President Joe Biden’s stance on a potential Rafah invasion, emphasizing the importance of civilian safety in any military plans.

The U.S. has initiated an “emergency” mission to build a floating pier off Gaza’s coast to improve the delivery of humanitarian aid. This operation involves American forces and aims to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Kirby mentioned that the first components of the pier were dispatched from Norfolk, Virginia, last week. The project is expected to take six to eight weeks to become operational.

In response to a question about the mission’s execution without U.S. military presence in Gaza, Kirby did not provide a direct answer.

Additionally, the White House is working to increase military support for Ukraine as it defends against Russia’s invasion. This comes after a delay in Congress due to disagreements over immigration policy.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated that the funding bill for Ukraine might pass with the support of Democratic votes. Kirby emphasized the urgency of the situation, noting Ukraine’s dwindling ammunition supplies and the need for immediate support.

This comprehensive approach by the U.S. government highlights its efforts to address international security concerns, support allies, and ensure the safety of civilians in conflict zones.