TikTok is trying to point out just how popular it is in the United States to avoid being banned.
As reported by Reuters, TikTok has revealed that it now has more than 150 million daily active users in the United States, a significant increase from its 100 million user base in 2020. The news comes days before TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday as the social media app faces a growing threat of a potential ban in the country.
Just for reference, recent estimates put the population of the United States at 331 million. So, by that math, almost half the country is using the social media app.
While it’s a huge number, it’s not surprising. TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 1.5 billion users globally as of 2023. Despite its popularity, TikTok has faced numerous challenges around the world due to concerns about user data privacy and security. The app is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, so many governments have already banned the app on issued devices due to national security concerns.
Those concerns point to the Chinese government potentially accessing users’ data from the app. While TikTok says this is not occurring (outside of China), the Biden administration claims otherwise and recently demanded that ByteDance’s Chinese owners sell their stake in the company to avoid a total ban in the United States.
TikTok has denied these allegations, stating that it stores user data in the United States and Singapore and that it has implemented strict security measures to protect user data. It announced an investment of $1.5 billion in security but, even with those moves, the app could still face a ban in the United States and elsewhere.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday in the United States. We’ll have to see if Chew’s testimony is able to sway growing political pressure and avoid a total ban in the country.