TikTok: Can the US Ban the App Completely?

Published by SunnYHan on

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The US government has demanded that the owners of the Chinese platform TikTok sell it, or face the risk of banning the app.

This comes after more countries raised concerns about what China might do with users’ data.

But banning the TikTok application is not an easy matter, as the decision may result.


Why does the United States want to ban Tik Tok?

TikTok collects a similar type of data as other apps. But US officials are concerned that this information will reach the Chinese government.

The United States previously banned the application on government phones, as did Britain, Canada and European Union countries. India also banned the app completely in 2020.

TikTok insists the app does not work differently from other social media platforms, and says it will never comply with an order to transfer data to Chinese officials.

One out of every three Americans uses TikTok, and banning such a popular app would be unprecedented in the United States.

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How does the ban apply?

The most likely hypothesis for a ban on TikTok is for the government to ask app stores like those run by Apple and Google to remove the app from their platforms.

This means that people will not be able to obtain the application by downloading it from online stores. TikTok will remain on the phones of people who acquired it before the ban was implemented. However, over time, the application will stop receiving updates, which may cause problems for users.

Is there a way to get around the app blocking?

The region for the app can be changed on most mobile device settings, allowing access to the app from other countries. Although this may violate the terms of service of other applications or the device itself.

It is also possible to download the application from the Internet, rather than from the application stores, by changing the user’s device, although this may violate copyright law.

But in the end, both the Apple Store and Google could decide to send updates to US devices that specifically prevent TikTok from working entirely, making these solutions null and void.

Will the US ban people from accessing TikTok entirely?

When the Indian government decided to ban TikTok, it disabled its download service and asked internet service providers to permanently block the app.

This made it more difficult to access the application or website through most of the Internet providers in India, although there are still some workarounds.

It is noteworthy that there are different forms of the application that have appeared on the Internet, and people cannot download them on their modified devices in order to use the application.

Some people have used VPNs – or a virtual private network – which provides a secure connection between your device and another computer over the Internet, making it appear as if you’re in a different country or region.

However, this measure may not be sufficient to circumvent the ban.

According to the information published on the TikTok help page, the application collects information about your approximate geographical location by verifying the phone’s chip and Internet Protocol address.

Which means if your phone number starts with the +1 calling symbol, TikTok will know you’re in the US and will block your phone from accessing the app.

But it is not known whether TikTok will choose to block users from using the app — the app’s owners may refuse to help the US government with any measures it might take.

Alternatively, people in the United States may be allowed to use the platform as long as they can find workarounds to access the platform.

Will people be able to post on their accounts?

TikTok could be ordered to block all users in the United States, which means that individuals and companies can only post if they use workarounds.

Many people, companies, and content creators have used TikTok as a way to gain fame and money. Other people use it to sell products around the world and to post content.

TikTok notes that more than five million businesses use the app in the United States. The ban may have a significant impact on the businesses of small companies that do not have a presence on other platforms.

How did China react to the decision?

China has accused the United States of spreading disinformation and of cracking down on TikTok. She said the US government overreacted when it ordered government employees to remove the app from government-provided phones.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said: “How insecure can the world’s largest superpower like the United States be, to be afraid of the youth’s favorite app?”


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