In late March, TikTok’s CEO stood before a U.S. congressional committee to defend the social media platform in the face of a possible ban. For over five hours, he fielded questions from Democrats and Republicans about TikTok’s privacy practices, its links to its parent company ByteDance, and other matters. Not too long after, the U.S. Restrict Act was introduced as proposed legislation. If made into law, the Act would allow the government to ban apps and other technologies more easily if deemed a security threat. While TikTok is a high-profile case, presumably, other apps could also land on the chopping block. Learn more about the potential U.S. app bans with ForestVPN.
Scrutinizing Potential Targets
Should a TikTok ban come into effect, the U.S. might scrutinize other apps that carry similar privacy concerns. Here are a few examples:
WeChat is an instant messaging, social media, and payment app developed by Tencent. It had about 19 million users in the U.S. in late 2020, according to Apptopia. People living in America may use WeChat to communicate with those overseas or are recent arrivals to the U.S. and more accustomed to WeChat than other chat apps. It can also serve as a legitimate news source for some.
CapCut, a video-editing app developed by ByteDance, has recently hit a milestone of 200 million monthly active users. As it’s under the umbrella of TikTok’s parent company, it might also come under scrutiny.
Shein, a fast-fashion online retailer, has gained popularity in the U.S., with discussions about its data collection and privacy. Recently, a coalition known as Shut Down Shein has been set up to educate Americans about the brand and its alleged dodgy dealings.
Temu, an online marketplace selling everyday items at affordable prices, has become one of the most downloaded apps in America since its launch in September 2022. However, it’s under the umbrella of Pinduoduo, which has faced criticism for spying capabilities.
AliExpress, owned by the Alibaba Group, is popular among Americans for its affordable items. People compare it to eBay and has faced issues regarding counterfeit products.
FAQs: About U.S. App Bans
1. Is TikTok banned in the U.S.?
No, U.S. hasn’t banned TikTok, but there are ongoing concerns about its security and privacy practices.
2. Why is TikTok facing scrutiny?
U.S. government officials worry about the possibility of user data being shared with the Chinese government and concerns about the spread of propaganda.
3. What apps could face bans or restrictions in the U.S.? Besides TikTok, apps like WeChat, CapCut, Shein, Temu, and AliExpress are among those potentially facing scrutiny.
4. What has anyone taken action against these apps?
While there have been executive orders and discussions, none of these apps have been banned outright in the U.S. yet.
5. How can users protect their privacy while using these apps? Using a reliable VPN service like ForestVPN can help enhance privacy and security while using these apps.
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