TikTok says it has 150 million monthly users in the United States -- a sharp increase


  • Only 25% of Americans opposed banning TikTok in the United States
  • The Justice Department is currently investigating TikTok's surveillance of American journalists
  • TikTok's CEO is set to address national security concerns before a House Committee on Thursday

Nearly half of all Americans support a federal ban on using the popular Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok amid security concerns, according to a poll.

At least 41% of Americans who participated in a recent Washington Post poll said they are in favor of the U.S. placing a nationwide ban on the use of TikTok over national security concerns and worries about its potential impact on young users. In comparison, only 25% of Americans polled said they oppose the ban.

The poll also found that 71% of Americans are concerned over the fact that TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, with 36% saying they were "very concerned."

Earlier this month, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee approved legislation that would give President Joe Biden the power to ban the usage of TikTok in the country. The measure was made amid concerns that TikTok could be used to spread disinformation and that it could be utilized by the Chinese government to collect data on American users.

In addition to the measure, the Justice Department is also currently investigating TikTok's surveillance of American journalists, including those who cover the tech industry. The investigation appears to be tied to an admission made by ByteDance in December where it said its employees inappropriately obtained the data of two American reporters and their associates — all of whom used TikTok, The New York Times reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

TikTok has long denied allegations that it could serve as a tool for Beijing and has moved to distance itself from ByteDance.

In a move to possibly stave off a federal ban, TikTok's chief executive Shou Zi Chew is expected to appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday to address national security concerns, according to his prepared testimony. The hearing will focus on TikTok's "consumer privacy and data security practices, how the platform affects children, and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party," CBS News reported, citing the committee.

TikTok is currently banned on government-issued devices across more than two dozen states. Many colleges, including the University of Texas at Austin and Auburn University, have also banned TikTok from campus Wi-Fi networks.

A growing number of scientists are leveraging TikTok to boost literacy on climate change