Apple and Google may be forced to remove TikTok after FCC concerns
As the Federal Communications Commission renewed its calls to ban TikTok, Apple and Google may have to seriously consider removing access to the Chinese-owned product from its app stores.
Paolo Pescatore, TMT analyst at PP Foresight believes that although TikTok is making moves to appease key stakeholders, it may not be enough to satisfy all concerns.
“It will dispute claims and, in the meantime, Apple and Google might be forced to remove access,” he says.
“Any security issues should be taken seriously which may not be well received among users who have become so dependant on services like TikTok.”
The latest issue between the US and the popular app comes as Republican Brendan Carr, FCC commissioner described ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok as “beholden” to the Chinese government.
In a letter to the CEOs of Apple and Google, sent on June 24, he added that they were “required by law to comply with surveillance demands”.
Carr is one of three Trump-appointed FCC commissioners still in office and referenced a BuzzFeed News report that alleged that ByteDance had accessed the private information of US users.
His letter was not signed by any of the other commissioners, of which there are five.
“It is clear that TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data … puts it out of compliance with policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to as a condition of remaining available on your app stores,” he added.
In 2020, then-President Trump signed two executive orders aimed at banning TikTok in the US. The company’s executives, though, reassured his administration and the public that all US data was stored in the country.
ByteDance was able to strike a deal that allowed it to operate in the US as long as it worked with a US database provider before partnering with Oracle to store its user data on its cloud-based systems.
Pescatore added that the latest concerns come at a “delicate time” amid the ongoing geopolitical battle between the East and West.
The US has already imposed stringent restrictions on some of China’s biggest companies including Huawei and ZTE.