(RepublicanInformer.com)- Back in June, the Biden administration revoked a series of Trump-era executive orders aimed at banning the Chinese-based social media platforms TikTok and WeChat. But after it was reported that China took an ownership stake in a key subsidiary of ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company of TikTok, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged President Biden to step in and block TikTok.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Senator Rubio said that Beijing’s aggressive move makes it clear that the Chinese Communist Party view TikTok “as an extension of the party-state,” adding that the United States must also treat TikTok as such.
Rubio added that the US must establish a “framework of standards that must be met” before the US allows “high-risk, foreign-based” apps to be available on US telecommunications networks or devices.
When he revoked President Trump’s ban, Biden signed a new executive order instructing the Commerce Department to review security concerns posed by foreign-based apps like TikTok. Thus far, the Commerce Department has offered no response to Senator Rubio’s demands.
In a statement to Reuters, TikTok disputed Rubio’s claims, saying that the service is headed up by an “executive team” in both the US and Singapore, and the Chinese-based ByteDance Ltd has no ownership of TikTok.
Corporate records do show that the Chinese Communist regime did take a stake and a board seat in ByteDance this year, raising questions about the level of influence Beijing hopes to wield in the tech sector already hamstrung by China’s regulatory actions.
Beijing obtained a one percent state in ByteDance Technology in late April. ByteDance holds some of the licenses for Douyin – the Chinese version of TikTok. TikTok itself is not available in China.
The CCP stake is held by WangTouZhongWen Technology, which is owned by three state-affiliated entities including a fund backed by the Cyberspace Administration of China — China’s main internet watchdog.
A representative from ByteDance said that Beijing ByteDance Technology relates only to some of ByteDance’s Chinese-market video and information platforms.
It is unlikely the Biden administration will do anything about Senator Rubio’s demand.