TikTok ban will not eliminate China’s influence

Hanna Flynn

Do you ever feel like your TikTok feed is a little too personal? According to the Biden Administration, that is China’s doing. But banning TikTok does not solve the issue of China’s influence on U.S. citizens. 

The Biden Administration is threatening to ban TikTok in the United States following allegations of spying for the Chinese government. The spying allegations stem from TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, being located in Beijing. 

Because of China’s control over Beijing-based businesses, Biden restricted access to TikTok for government employees. Federal institutions such as ULM can no longer create content on the app. This ban is useless since most of the technology used in the U.S. is made in China. Using this reasoning, the U.S. would have to ban every electronic device manufactured in China. 

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MITT) regulates the production and sale of the country’s electronics. According to the MITT, “China produces over 1.8 billion mobile phones, 300 million computers and 200 million televisions each year.” China sells these electronics all over the globe, including the U.S. 

The threat that TikTok has on our privacy seems minuscule compared to the millions of technological devices made in China that nearly every American owns. 

TikTok is not even the only program that we use that was created in China. Chinese companies own widely used applications such as Bing and WeChat.

If most of the technology that we are using is coming from China, then it doesn’t make sense to be afraid of a single app. It seems like the Chinese would have ample opportunity to spy on us with all the products that are coming from them. China would not need to use TikTok videos to spy on viewers.

It would be hypocritical for the U.S. government to ban TikTok while purchasing technology manufactured in China. The ban would only restrict our access to TikTok, not China’s influence on American content.  

Banning the app would unfairly restrict our access to social media. By preventing us from communicating internationally on social media platforms, the government is limiting our ability to practice free speech and gather information. 

With unclear evidence of TikTok’s threat to our nation’s security, the government does not have any reason to ban the app completely.