App Scrutiny: Beyond TikTok’s Defense

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App Scrutiny: Beyond TikTok's Defense. Uva remote access vpn
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App Scrutiny: Beyond TikTok's Defense. Uva remote access vpn

In March 2023, the CEO of TikTok testified before a U.S. congressional committee, defending the social media platform against a potential ban. During the lengthy session, he addressed inquiries from both Democrats and Republicans regarding TikTok’s privacy practices, connections to parent company ByteDance, and other relevant issues.

Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Restrict Act was introduced as a proposed law, aiming to facilitate the government’s ability to ban apps and technologies deemed security threats. While TikTok drew considerable attention, the Act could potentially impact other apps facing privacy and security concerns. Here’s an exploration of five popular apps that might encounter bans or restrictions in the U.S.


WeChat, developed by Tencent, functions as an instant messaging, social media, and payment app. In late 2020, it boasted approximately 19 million users in the U.S., with some relying on it for international communication and news. Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to prohibit transactions with WeChat in 2020, along with other payment apps, was halted by Judge Laurel Beeler, citing insufficient evidence of security threats.


CapCut, a video-editing app developed by ByteDance, serves as both a standalone application and an integrated feature within TikTok. With 200 million monthly active users reported recently, CapCut’s fate may be uncertain, but scrutiny is plausible due to its association with ByteDance.


Shein, a fast-fashion online retailer, is a major player in the U.S. market. While discussions about its data collection practices are limited, controversies surround the brand. The Shut Down Shein coalition aims to educate Americans about the alleged dubious dealings of the fashion brand.


Temu, a U.S.-based online marketplace under PDD Holdings, has gained popularity since its September 2022 launch. Linked to Pinduoduo, a shopping app criticized for spying capabilities, Temu, with over 24 million downloads, faces potential scrutiny, especially after Google Play suspended Pinduoduo due to malware concerns.


Owned by Alibaba Group, AliExpress is a widely used online marketplace offering affordable items. With over 2.7 billion global visitors monthly, it has been compared to eBay in the U.S. In 2022, the United States Trade Representative added AliExpress to its list of Notorious Marketplaces for Counterfeiting and Piracy, alongside other apps like WeChat, Taobao, Baidu, and

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FAQ: U.S. App Bans Unveiled

The U.S. urges ByteDance to sell the app or face potential banning.