STATEMENT: PDE Action Applauds the Senate’s Passage of the ByteDance Divestment Bill

April 24, 2024

PDE Action applauds the Senate’s approval of a bipartisan effort to force the sale of TikTok from its parent company, ByteDance—a company based in China—within the next nine months. The threat that TikTok poses to our children and our national security is clear. There is indisputable evidence that shows TikTok obtains data from its users and pushes controversial content to youth across America. Parents share those concerns: An overwhelming majority are aware of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on the social media app. With this vote, the U.S. is one step closer to protecting its data and strengthening our national security. 

Parents Defending Education, our sister organization, has tracked several cases of K-12 schools and teachers unions encouraging children to use TikTok in projects and lessons. Because ByteDance must abide by China’s national security laws, the Chinese government could force the company to turn over user data on its 170 million American TikTok users. This includes students. 

Reports confirm that TikTok has collected sensitive data about some American users is stored in China. ByteDance employees in China have also been able to access “nonpublic” user data. 

Xi Jinping, Chinese president and CCP General Secretary, has openly stated that he wants to unseat the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower. The Chinese Communist Party has also said that infiltration of the American education system is a top priority. This bill’s passage is a significant milestone in countering China’s dangerous influence in our academic institutions. There is more work to be done, however, to protect classrooms from malign foreign influence. 

PDE Action commends Congress’s work, most notably the work by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the CCP, on delivering this urgent solution.