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Biden Admin To Negotiate With CCP-Linked TikTok — Despite Previous Threats To Ban It: REPORT

Photo by Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

By Jason Cohen, The Daily Caller News Foundation | September 15, 2023

President Joe Biden’s administration plans on resuming negotiations with TikTok in spite of its former ultimatum to the popular video platform, The Washington Post reported.

The Biden administration called for TikTok to divest itself from its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance or face a potential ban in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported in March. However, negotiations between the two entities will resume following concerns regarding the administration’s authority to impose a TikTok ban, the Post reported on Friday. 

Representatives from ByteDance met with the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) last week to discuss a previous proposal the Chinese parent company submitted to address national security concerns, four individuals with knowledge of the situation told the Post. Under the terms of the proposal, submitted in August 2022, ByteDance would relinquish control over TikTok’s U.S. business to a three-person board chosen by CFIUS.

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo avoided raising the subject of TikTok during her August trip to China despite numerous concerns over the company’s ties to the CCP. ByteDance maintains an internal CCP committee, and was founded by an individual who affirmed ByteDance is a “mouthpiece” for the CCP, according to a 2020 Justice Department legal filing.

Additionally, based on allegations from a former ByteDance executive, CCP members within within the company possessed a “superuser” credential or “god credential” to see all of the data the company obtained and had a “backdoor channel” to gain U.S. user data, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Democratic politicians believe banning TikTok or supporting its prohibition could lead to voter backlash, according to the Post.

Biden’s reelection operation is planning to utilize TikTok content creators to enhance the president’s reputation with young voters, Axios reported in May.

TikTok, ByteDance, the Treasury Department, CFIUS and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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