Biden administration officials are trying to determine if there is a way to create a corporate structure that would allow TikTok to operate in the US, but with protections that would prevent the Chinese government from gaining access to American users’ personal data. Emily Kilcrease, a technology and Cfius expert at the CNAS think-tank, said the Senate move was not surprising, given the rising level of congressional concern about how Beijing could exploit the app. “In some ways, the real surprise is that it’s taken this long and may mostly be another sign of frustration in Congress that the Cfius process has dragged on for so long,” Kilcrease said.
She added that the US did not have a “clean legal authority” to block foreign-owned social media apps because of restrictions on the president regulating personal communications.“TikTok is the first instance where this gap in authorities matters and the government is playing catch-up,” she said.
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