A member of the Federal Communications Commission has requested Google and Apple to take away TikTok from their app shops, citing considerations that the favored Chinese-owned video app might ship American information again to Beijing.
In a letter to the businesses launched on Tuesday, Brendan Carr, a Republican commissioner, stated he believed that “TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data” violated Apple’s and Google’s requirements and that TikTok needs to be taken out of the app shops.
Mr. Carr’s request is unlikely to achieve traction as a result of the F.C.C. doesn’t regulate the app shops and the fee’s agenda is basically set by its Democratic chairwoman. But it reveals the sustained strain on Chinese tech corporations from officers in Washington.
Policymakers have lengthy fearful that TikTok’s Chinese guardian firm, ByteDance, might expose its information to the Chinese authorities. Former President Donald J. Trump tried to pressure ByteDance to promote the app or face expulsion from app shops in 2020. At one level, the Trump administration introduced a deal during which Oracle, the American cloud computing firm, would have taken over a number of the firm. The sale by no means got here to fruition.
The Biden administration has thought of different measures to hold American information away from China however has not publicly pushed TikTok to lower ties with its Chinese proprietor.
TikTok has maintained that it’s taking steps to hold workers in China from gaining entry to its information. Shortly earlier than a latest information report revealed it was struggling to achieve this, it stated it was routing all information from its U.S. customers by way of servers managed by Oracle.
Brooke Oberwetter, a spokeswoman for TikTok, stated the corporate was partaking with lawmakers who had requested questions on its information practices. Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, declined to remark. Apple and the F.C.C. didn’t reply to requests for remark.
In his letter, Mr. Carr stated he didn’t consider TikTok’s efforts would make a distinction.
“TikTok has long claimed that its U.S. user data has been stored on servers in the U.S., and yet those representations provided no protection against the data being accessed from Beijing,” he wrote. “Indeed, TikTok’s statement that ‘100 percent of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle’ says nothing about where that data can be accessed from.”