TikTok is among the things Biden and Xi discussed on the phone

TikTok is among the things Biden and Xi discussed on the phone

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During a phone call on Tuesday, President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed the push for TikTok Inc.’s divestment in the US.

Following the call, the first direct discussion between the two leaders since November, White House spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that TikTok was indeed a topic of conversation.

Biden reiterated to Xi his concerns about Chinese ownership of the popular video-sharing app.
“This was not about a ban of the application, but rather our interest in divestiture, so that the national security interests and the data security of the American people can be protected,” Kirby explained (via Bloomberg).

Last month, the US House approved legislation that would prohibit the operation of the video-sharing platform if ByteDance, its Chinese parent company, fails to sell its interest. President Biden has indicated he would ratify the bill, though its prospects in the US Senate remain uncertain.

The goal is ByteDance to sell its interests in the viral short video app, or face a ban in the US. If everything goes to plan (the bill passes and Joe Biden signs it), ByteDance will have a 165-day deadline to divest from TikTok. Should it not pass the control of TikTok to an American-based company, US app stores (like Apple’s, Google’s and Samsung’s) would be prohibited from offering TikTok in the country.

It all started when the Energy and Commerce Committee cast a unanimous 50-0 vote (highly unusual) in favor of the TikTok/ByteDance measure.

Prior to that, members of Congress were flooded with calls and emails (some of which containing no-no words) from angry TikTok users who were scared that TikTok is coming to an end.

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