LARRY KUDLOW: TikTok owner ByteDance is an instrumentality of the Chinese Communist Party


There is virtual unanimity in Washington that either TikTok gets sold by ByteDance — which is the Chinese Communist Party-linked owner of the social media app — or TikTok will be banned for use in America.

Breaking up is hard to do, but one way or another it looks like it’s going to happen. TikTok owner ByteDance is an instrumentality of the Chinese Communist Party. 

It engages in spying, surveillance of personal information, cyber espionage and political interference. As the excellent Wall Street Journal editorial put it: “Xi Jinping has eviscerated any distinction between the government and private companies” and “Chinese law requires ByteDance to comply with Beijing’s surveillance demands.” 

TikTok’s algorithms are controlled by ByteDance, which means they still have considerable control over American data servers unless the umbilical cord with China is completely severed. Former President Trump has decided to let Congress make up its own mind on these issues. 


Mr. Trump has always feared the national security implications of ByteDance and TikTok, and he opposes an acquisition by Meta, the owner of Facebook, because of Facebook’s past history of conservative censorship and election interference, but Mr. Trump is not weighing in against a TikTok sale to other companies. He’ll let Congress figure it out.  

How this is all going to play out remains to be seen, because China doesn’t want ByteDance to sell TikTok. Banning Tiktok, with its 150 million American users, is tricky business. Some states and localities have already banned the TikTok app from government phones. 

At some point, CFIUS — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. — is just going to rule against ByteDance, or TikTok, or the whole package. 

China is our greatest adversary and indeed is our enemy. They’re untrustworthy. They use construction cranes to plant tiny cameras to spy on our military bases. The Chinese phone company Huawei built wooden telephone poles with tiny cameras to spy on our military bases, until the Trump administration threw Huawei out. 


TikTok runs pro-Hamas videos, Osama bin Laden speeches, and tries hard to bend youthful minds in the wrong direction on any number of issues, but it seems to me that, most of all, the ByteDance-TikTok story is another example of Chinese Communist infiltration as part of its ongoing war to dominate the United States, and frankly, everybody else in the world. 

Bipartisan lawmakers are right. The vote in the House is tomorrow: Either break up with the Chinese Communist Party or break up with America. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the March 12, 2024, edition of “Kudlow.” 

Read the full article here


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