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Updated Feb 5, 2024, 4:03pm EST
politicsNorth America

Leading US lawmaker on China committee says he doesn’t want a TikTok ban

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Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), the ranking Democrat member on the House Select Committee on China, said he had concerns about TikTok’s U.S. operations but did not support a total U.S. ban on the app.

“I don’t want to see a ban,” Krishnamoorthi told Semafor’s Morgan Chalfant at Semafor’s Principals Live event on Monday. “The concern is this: If its owned by a company thats beholden to the CCP, then you have a new level of concern beyond the social media companies.”

Krishnamoorthi said that he was concerned about the alleged surveillance of journalists on TikTok and the alleged manipulation of the app’s algorithm by its China-based parent company, ByteDance, in the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. He also cited a recent Wall Street Journal report where the app’s employees said data is sometimes shared with ByteDance despite TikTok’s stand-alone U.S. arm dubbed “Project Texas.”

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Responding to whether legislation proposing a ban or sale of the app would get political blowback from U.S. voters, Krishnamoorthi said that TikTok “plays an important role” in supporting different businesses, especially small businesses, adding that people also loved the dance videos.

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