Experts Agree: ByteDance is Beholden to the CCP and Cannot Be Allowed to Exploit Americans' Data

Mar 07, 2024

H.R. 7521, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, is bipartisan legislation that will protect Americans by preventing foreign adversaries, such as China, from targeting, surveilling, and manipulating the American people through online applications like TikTok.  

Here’s what experts and top voices are saying about the bill: 

Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson:

“I support the bill being marked up by the Energy & Commerce committee. It’s an important bipartisan measure to take on China, our largest geopolitical foe, which is actively undermining our economy and security.”

Americans for Prosperity Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner: 

“The fact is that we live in a world where Americans’ phones are being weaponized against them by a foreign adversary, and we cannot sit back and let that happen. We would never want the U.S. federal government to have the power to censor, surveil, and manipulate Americans—we absolutely should not permit that abuse of power by the Chinese government through TikTok.” 

Heritage Foundation Tech Policy Center Director Kara Frederick: 

“The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act is a crucial step forward in this fight and will be a powerful tool in our arsenal to put an end to this noxious, CCP-beholden surveillance platform once and for all.”

American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce

"AmFree strongly supports HR 7521 addressing critical risks from TikTok due to CCP control. CCP must divest from TikTok to address national security interests."

Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker: 

“Heritage Action is glad to see members of Congress from both sides of the aisle recognize the very real national security threat of apps controlled by our adversaries like China. TikTok is a dangerous tool used by the CCP to spy on, exploit, and mislead the American people. The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act is an important step toward addressing the root problem and getting the CCP out of the pockets of hundreds of millions of Americans.” 

Former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien:

“National Security officials all agree on one thing: TikTok poses a clear and present threat to America. We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party, our chief adversary and an organization notoriously devoted to propaganda and censorship, to control the platform that America’s youth overwhelmingly relies on for news. To do so would be akin to allowing Soviet control of several major American newspapers and TV channels during the Cold War. Congress must pass this bill and finish the job the Trump Administration started in 2020: force a sale of TikTok to remove it from CCP control, or prohibit its operation in the United States.”

Director of the America First Policy Institute’s China Policy Initiative Adam Savit:

“TikTok is a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controlled app that acts as a data-harvesting weapon disguised as a social media platform. It has become a dominant force in American youth culture, exposing private information to the CCP without the end-user’s knowledge. It would become a potent weapon of information warfare in the event of war with our adversaries. TikTok must be required to divest from its CCP parent company ByteDance to remain in the U.S. This act would neutralize the threat of CCP exploitation while still preserving our cherished freedom of speech.” 

America2100 Executive Director Mike Needham: 

“China’s fingerprints are all over many of the most pressing challenges facing our country. It is unfathomable we allow a propaganda tool they control to burrow its way deeper and deeper into our society. The House must pass the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act immediately.”

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr:

“TikTok’s own conduct makes clear that it is beholden to the CCP and presents an unacceptable threat to U.S. national security. I applaud this strong bipartisan bill, which would definitely resolve this threat.”

Former Vice President and Advancing American Freedom Founder Mike Pence:

“TikTok has been banned on all US government devices because it is a national security threat and acts as the puppet strings of Communist China to push their propaganda on the American people, and it cannot be allowed to continue to operate in our country unchecked. The tensions with Communist China continue to mount and the United States must take the necessary steps to protect our country. This legislation is one of those necessary steps, and Advancing American Freedom urges Congress to move this legislation quickly through the markup process and bring it to the House floor for a vote.”

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs:

“The CCP’s control of TikTok must come to an abrupt end. In contrast to previous approaches, this bill is narrow and direct. It’s a sniper rifle. It will immediately eliminate the driving force of the app’s toxicity.”

Digital Progress Institute President Joel Thayer:

“Great to see @HouseCommerce introduce legislation that will keep dangerous apps, like @tiktok_us in its current form, off our devices. It is a positive step to quell the national security concerns raised by these technologies.”

Executive Director of the Foundation for American Innovation Zach Graves

"Thanks to the hard work of Chairman Gallagher, as well as his colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Congress is taking a huge step toward stronger protections for the American people from the threats posed by CCP-controlled entities like TikTok. Not only does this effort address the TikTok problem, but it also creates an avenue to address the next TikTok. The House should take up the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act posthaste and the Senate should follow quickly behind. To all Members of Congress who have given lip service to countering the China tech threat, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is."

Deputy Director of the Consumer Choice Center Yaël Ossowski:

“Considering the CCP's unique hold on TikTok and ByteDance, and the data privacy threats to US consumers, a forced divestiture is a balanced and reasonable solution.” 

Digital First Project:

“The Digital First Project strongly supports the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. For the past several years, policymakers on both sides of the aisle have explored different solutions to rein in TikTok. While we applauded many of those approaches, it is clear this proposal is the correct template going forward.”