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FLASHBACK: Rubio Calls for CFIUS Review of TikTok Deal

Mar 21, 2023 | Press Releases

In 2017, few could have imagined ByteDance’s acquisition of, through a subsidiary called TikTok, would become a key fault line in U.S.-China relations. But less than two years later, concerns had grown significantly about the Chinese-owned and -controlled app.

In October 2019, under the Trump Administration, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to then-Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) exercise its authority and launch a full review of the national security implications of TikTok’s acquisition of

  • “TikTok, which has millions of active users across the U.S., is now ranked among the world’s most downloaded apps.… Given the Chinese Government and Communist Party efforts to block content and undermine U.S. values, I urge that CFIUS launch a full and thorough national security review of TikTok’s acquisition of” – Senator Rubio in 2019

A month later, in November 2019, CFIUS began an investigation, which continues to this day.

Looking forward … Rubio will continue to push for federal action to prohibit Chinese-owned TikTok from operating in the United States. In February, Rubio and Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation that would block and prohibit all transactions from any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern unless that company fully divests of dangerous foreign ownership. The legislation remains the only bipartisan, bicameral bill that would actually ban TikTok.