TikTok Ban Would Hurt Americans Most

August 1, 2020

WASHINGTON—In response to reports that President Trump plans to ban the Chinese-owned social-video app TikTok from the United States, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) issued the following statement from ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro:

The United States would be the biggest loser if it banned TikTok.

Millions of Americans, including many Trump supporters, use TikTok to create and share content. Banning TikTok would not only put more than 1,000 U.S. jobs directly at risk, but also would hurt the even larger number of content creators who have built followings on the video-sharing platform.

While the app is owned by a Chinese company, all of its data centers are outside of China, and there is no evidence that it presents a national security threat.

The threat of a ban has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the platform. This is causing some creators to flee to other options and U.S. companies to reconsider acquiring the platform.

In a week where many policymakers have called for more competition in the tech sector, undermining one of the fastest-growing social media platforms would be a step in the wrong direction.

Moreover, undermining a potential U.S. acquisition would be a step backward if the goal is to enhance the safety and security of the platform.

None of that is good for the United States. President Trump should reconsider his options and pursue a solution that leaves American businesses and consumers better off.