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Trump thinks TikTok a menace but says some youngsters may 'go wild' without it

The TikTok headquarters building is visible in Culver City, California, U.S., April 26, 2023.

WASHINGTON, March 11 (mod1s) - U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Monday TikTok was a national security concern but also claimed a ban on the popular app would injure some youngsters and only benefit Meta Platforms' (META.O), opens new tab Facebook, which the Republican has fiercely attacked.
 
Trump underlined his worries as senators examine a plan this week that would allow TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance roughly six months to divest the short video app used by 170 million Americans.
The U.S. House of Representatives is slated to vote on Wednesday under fast-track procedures that need two-thirds of members to vote "yes" for the proposal to achieve approval.
 
TikTok told Congress late Monday in a letter obtained by Reuters that is "not owned or controlled by the Chinese government" and said if the firm was sold another buyer would not continue TikTok's $1.5 billion commitment to secure U.S. data.

"Ironically, U.S. user data could be less secure under a divestment scheme," the business stated.
 
The FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence intend to convene on Tuesday a secret briefing for House members, two individuals said. FBI Director Chris Wray highlighted worries about TikTok during a hearing on Monday.
 
The 2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community issued on Monday noted "TikTok accounts run by a PRC propaganda arm reportedly targeted candidates from both political parties during the U.S. midterm election cycle in 2022."

The Justice Department revealed its security worries about TikTok in a memo last week first published by Reuters.
 
"I'm not looking to make Facebook double the size," Trump told CNBC on Monday. "And if you if you prohibit TikTok, (then) Facebook and others, but especially Facebook, will be a great benefactor. And I believe Facebook has been really dishonest."
 
Trump met recently with investor Jeff Yass, whose investment company Susquehanna International Group has a stake in ByteDance, he acknowledged on CNBC. Trump stated they did not discuss about TikTok.

Meta Platforms shares finished down 4.4% at $483.59 on Monday. The corporation refused to comment.
 
'KIDS WILL GO CRAZY'
 
Trump earlier accused the business now named Meta Platforms for banning his access to Facebook and Instagram after deleting two of his postings during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol incident. His accounts were restored in February 2023.
 
Trump also suggested a TikTok ban might hurt young people. "There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it," he claimed. "There's a lot of good and there's a lot of bad with TikTok."
 
Tiktok CEO Shou Zi Chew will visit Capitol Hill later this week on a previously arranged trip to meet to senators, a person knowledgeable on the subject said.
 
President Joe Biden announced last week he would sign the law after a committee overwhelmingly approved the plan.
 
TikTok, which maintains it has not and would not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government, contends the House measure amounts to a prohibition. It is uncertain whether China would accept any transaction or if TikTok could be unloaded in six months.
 
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise stated "we must ensure the Chinese government cannot weaponize TikTok against American users and our government through data collection and propaganda." The measure would allow ByteDance 165 days to divest TikTok. If it failed to do so, app stores controlled by Apple (AAPL.O), opens new tab, Alphabet's (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Google and others could not lawfully provide TikTok or give Web hosting services to ByteDance-controlled apps.
 
In 2020, Trump wanted to ban TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat but was rejected by the courts.
The app is popular and getting legislation adopted by both the House and Senate in an election year may be challenging. Last month, Biden's re-election campaign joined TikTok.
 
Trump's campaign has not joined TikTok.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/

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