March 4, 2020 / 8:37 PM / 24 days ago

U.S. senator wants to ban federal workers from using Chinese video app Tik Tok

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - Republican Senator Josh Hawley on Wednesday said he will introduce legislation banning federal employees from using social media app Tik Tok on their devices, adding to growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology transfers.

Already, several U.S. agencies that deal with national security and intelligence issues have banned employees from using the app, which has been rapidly growing in popularity among U.S. teenagers and allows users to create short videos.

About 60% of TikTok’s 26.5 million monthly active users in the United States are between the ages of 16 and 24, the company said last year.

In November, the U.S. government launched a national security review of TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co’s $1 billion acquisition of U.S. social media app

Hawley’s plan demonstrates broader concerns among lawmakers about collection and sharing of data on U.S. users with the Chinese government. Many lawmakers are generally skeptical of China and see it as a threat to free speech and online privacy and security. (Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio)

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