TikTok in search of potential buyers after ban threats: Reports
New Zealand jumps on the bandwagon of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States' TikTok bans.
TikTok is in talks with potential buyers after the Biden administration's threats in banning the application if the Chinese owners did not sell their stakes, The New York Post reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
TikTok is considering exploring different options, including searching for potential buyers, an option that was viable back in 2020 when former US President Donald Trump threatened to ban the video-sharing platform when he accused TikTok of spying for China, the report said on Thursday.
Although TikTok admitted that ByteDance employees in China had access to details of US accounts, they insisted that the data were not turned over to Chinese authorities.
Despite the assurances, President Biden threatened to ban TikTok unless the latter separates from ByteDance.
Read more: Congress presents bill to ban TikTok to 'protect citizens'
Although the source did not indicate the possible deals under consideration, it was pointed out that a proposal by Trump was for Oracle and Walmart to partner to own a US TikTok subsidiary that would have control over all US user data.
According to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the White House supports an effort in the US Congress to pass legislation that grants new powers to address threats foreign technologies could pose to the United States.
The White House also believes that the legislation would empower the US government in the course of preventing foreign governments from using technology services to obtain sensitive users' data in the United States or risk US national security.
It is worth noting that the ban on TikTok and WeChat was part of the long-running diplomatic and trade war against China, waged by Trump's administration back in January 2021.
New Zealand joins the ban
In a related content, officials told AFP on Friday that New Zealand will ban the video-sharing platform on lawmakers' devices, making it the latest Western nation to act on security fears toward the platform.
With this move, New Zealand would be joining joins Canada, the UK, and the US in their ban measures.
Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said TikTok will be banned on all devices that have access to the parliamentary network, starting March 31.
Gonzalez-Montero referred to the risks as "not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment."
"This decision has been made based on our own experts' analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally," he added.
The European Commission also ordered a TikTok ban on their employee's devices amid cyber security concerns that data could be viewed by Beijing officials.
Read next: TikTok seeks to ease European concerns over data security issues