Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., called on Apple and Google on Thursday to remove TikTok from their app stores over national security concerns, amid escalating bipartisan pressure on the Chinese company.
Mr. Bennet, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote to the chief executives of Apple and Google parent Alphabet, saying that no company subject to “directions from the Chinese Communist Party” should have the right to amass such extensive data on the American people One of the population planning content. “
TikTok, owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, is facing questions about its data practices and whether it transmits information about Americans it collects from its app to Chinese authorities.
“It would be irresponsible for us to deliver it the way it is, and I hope Apple and Google will use this as an opportunity to play a leading role in this debate,” Mr. Bennet said in a phone interview.
His letters to Apple’s Tim Cook and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai — the latest in a nationwide assault on TikTok by lawmakers — suggest Democrats are eager to get on board A campaign that until recently was led primarily by Republicans. Mr. Bennet’s call recalled efforts by the Trump administration to ban TikTok and another Chinese-owned app, WeChat, from US app stores in September 2020, a move that was met with legal resistance and ultimately failed.
Lawmakers and regulators have increasingly criticized TikTok as it awaits a response from the Biden administration to plans the company filed in August detailing how it would prevent the Chinese government from accessing U.S. users’ data and how it would Provide platform oversight to the U.S. government.
More than two dozen states, including several led by Democratic governors, have banned TikTok in one way or another over the past two months. A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress in December would ban everyone in the US from using the app. Some college campuses and cities have also adopted bans.
Lawmakers have raised concerns about Chinese media laws that allow the government to secretly request data from Chinese companies and citizens, as well as TikTok’s content recommendation system.
TikTok said its plan would “meaningfully address any safety concerns raised at the federal and state levels.” TikTok CEO Shouzi Zhou agreed appearing before a house committee March.