Biden campaign debuts official TikTookay account, but app is still banned on most government devices

Biden campaign debuts official TikTookay account, but app is still banned on most government devices

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport, in New York City, U.S., February 7, 2024. 

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign launched an official TikTookay account Sunday night. The account is noteworthy as a result of TikTookay is at present banned on most U.S. government-issued devices.

The TikTookay account, with the deal with “@bidenhq,” debuted Sunday throughout Lunar New Year celebrations in China and Super Bowl 58 within the U.S.

In late 2022, Biden signed laws that barred most federal government-owned devices from utilizing TikTookay. The provision was a part of an enormous omnibus spending invoice and, on the time, it represented a significant win for China hawks in Congress.

Several states and New York City additionally adopted swimsuit, banning TikTookay on government-owned devices final 12 months, pointing to a variety of safety considerations.

TikTookay’s father or mother firm is China-based ByteDance. The firm’s CEO Shou Zi Chew is Singaporean and a graduate of Harvard Business School.

One of TikTookay’s greatest outdoors buyers is Susquehanna International Group. Billionaire co-founder of the agency, Jeffrey Yass, has donated millions to lawmakers who need to block an outright ban of the app within the states.

Several U.S. lawmakers have accused TikTookay, and different social media platforms, of spreading content material on-line that has been dangerous to youngsters’s psychological well being and failing to guard children on-line.

Biden campaign advisors informed NBC News the TikTookay account is a part of an effort to fulfill voters the place they’re.

The app stays important to youthful folks, together with of these of voting age within the U.S. According to Pew Research knowledge launched in late 2023, a few third of 18-29 12 months olds within the U.S. stated they commonly get information on TikTookay, a better share than ever earlier than.

Tighter regulation of social media corporations together with TikTookay, Meta, Snap, Discord and X (previously Twitter) represented a uncommon challenge of bipartisan settlement throughout a Senate listening to on youngster security final month.

The Biden White House has carried on a love-hate relationship with TikTookay since Biden took workplace. On one hand, the administration brazenly courted TikTookay stars and content material producers to assist unfold public service messages and have interaction younger folks with civic occasions.

But as China-skeptical lawmakers ratcheted up their campaign in opposition to the corporate lately, the Biden White House tacitly agreed with them, going as far as to reportedly stress ByteDance to promote TikTookay.

CNBC’s Jonathan Vanian contributed reporting.

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