Feb 2, 2023 - Technology

Senator urges Apple, Google to remove TikTok from app stores

Illustration of a finger about to delete the TikTok app

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) wrote to Google and Apple on Thursday, urging both companies to remove TikTok from their app stores.

Driving the news: In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Bennet urges both leaders to boot TikTok immediately, calling the popular video-sharing app "an unacceptable threat to the national security of the United States."

Why it matters: Bennet's letter marks the first time a member of Congress has suggested TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, should not be available for download via the Google Play or Apple App store.

What they're saying: "No company subject to [Chinese Communist Party] dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population," Bennet wrote in the letter.

The big picture: TikTok is under immense pressure in Washington. As it awaits a government-approved security deal, states across the country have banned the app on government devices and on college WiFi networks, and members of Congress have introduced bills to ban the app entirely.

  • TikTok has said efforts to ban the app in the U.S. are misguided and that China cannot access American users' data.
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