U.S. Senate committee bans business aircraft from downloading TikTok

TikTok, the overseas version of China’s Jitterbug, is popular with young people in Europe and the United States, but has always been questioned by other governments for having national security concerns. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed a bill on Wednesday to prohibit federal employees from downloading TikTok from their business aircraft.

Sen. Josh Hawley (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the bill, said that TikTok’s parent company, Beijing ByteDaily, “is a direct threat to national security,” Reuters reported.

Hawley stressed that the bill should not have a partisan stance and was pleased to see all of his Senate colleagues working together to address the Beijing government’s data collection practices behind the scenes.

The U.S. is the second largest user of TikTok in the world, with 60% of the 26.5 million average monthly active users last year between the ages of 16 and 24, but TikTok’s success has also raised concerns in the U.S. government and Congress that personal information could be grasped by the Chinese government.