HAWLEY HAS CONCERNS ON TIKTOK PROPOSAL
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) urged the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on Monday to reject a proposal in which Oracle would become TikTok’s partner.
The two companies over the weekend submitted a deal with ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, where Oracle would be the short-form video app’s “trusted technology provider” to the Treasury Department.
CFIUS, an interagency body that deals with national security concerns stemming from transactions involving overseas companies, will now have to review the deal before approving it.
The deal with the wildly popular social media app was forced by two executive orders blocking American companies from dealing with ByteDance and pressing for the divestiture of TikTok’s U.S. operations.
The justification for President Trump‘s executive orders was the nebulous national security threat posed by TikTok’s parent company being based in China.
Hawley raised concerns in Monday’s letter that the proposed partnership — details of which have not been made available — would not address the threat of the Chinese government accessing user data or pushing messaging on TikTok.
“China’s repressive intelligence laws, which allow the seizure of data from Chinese companies like ByteDance if the Chinese Communist Party comes knocking, still remain in force,” the Missouri lawmaker wrote. “And that is why any corporate shell game that leaves TikTok in the hands of ByteDance will simply perpetuate the original problem, leaving U.S. national interests and everyday users at serious risk.”
Hawley argued that the phrasing of the agreement suggests that ByteDance has “no intention whatsoever of relinquishing ultimate control of TikTok.”