Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told Fox Business on Thursday that American officials’ concern over TikTok and other Chinese companies stems from China’s “very dangerous” ability to collect data from these businesses.
Rubio, in an interview on “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday, noted that China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law forces Chinese companies to obey the government’s request for data.
“Any Chinese company that tells you that’s not true is being disingenuous,” said Rubio, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “Chinese law basically says, ‘If we tell you we want the data, you have to give it to us.'”
Rubio noted that countries are increasingly relying on big data for national security, intelligence, commercial business, and medicine, and said, “To just turn that over to a country like China that has a clear, not just a capitalist economic policy, but a predatory one in which they seek not only to overtake the United States but to be the dominant geopolitical economic power in the world, is a self-inflicted wound.”
He added that American officials support a nationwide ban on TikTok if it’s U.S. operations are not sold to a U.S. company because of the social media app’s popularity, particularly among young adults and children, and the amount of data that would be made available to the Chinese government.
“That’s the issue with TikTok. It’s not the videos. It’s the data,” the senator said. “They are collecting extraordinary amounts of data on the people who are using [the app].”