A PYMNTS Company

Bill That Aims To Block TikTok Approved By US House Panel

 |  March 2, 2023

The House foreign affairs committee voted on Wednesday along party lines to grant the administration new powers to ban the Chinese-owned app as well as other apps believed to pose security risks, Reuters reported.

Michael McCaul, the Republican committee chair described TikTok this week as a “spy balloon in your phone”, referring to the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina last month.

Related: White House Sets Deadline For Removing TikTok From Federal Devices

McCaul told Reuters after the vote that he thinks the TikTok bill will be taken up on the floor “fairly soon” and voted on by the full House this month. He said this week that Democrats would prefer to rely on a security review of TikTok being undertaken by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, although an approved plan has yet to emerge from that process.

The committee vote came in the same week that Canada joined the US in banning TikTok from being installed on all government-issued mobile devices, due to security concerns.

The European Commission has also banned TikTok from staff phones. Politicians who support the TikTok bans have expressed concerns that the Chinese government could access user data or manipulate public opinion via the app – accusations that TikTok denies.