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Facts Unpacked | What are the lies behind US TikTok ban?

"Many people would suggest and believe that national security is just an excuse for an attack on a company because of its relationship with China," said Andy Mok, professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University and senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, in a recent interview with GDToday.

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on March 13, requiring the Chinese tech firm ByteDance to spin off TikTok, a short video application that attracts 170 million users. The bill stipulates that due to the perceived threat TikTok poses to US national security, if ByteDance does not divest or sell TikTok within 165 days, the social media platform will be removed from US app stores.

In the view of Harvey Dzodin, former legal adviser in the Carter administration, US politicians are trying to ban TikTok out of greed, political manipulation, and a hegemonic mentality, and the ban will infringe the First Amendment rights of American users and affect their livelihoods.

"I'm a content creator of lifestyle. With TikTok being my largest platform, it's the one that brings me the most work. So if there were a ban, it would essentially be stripping me of my largest revenue source," said Steven King, a content creator on TikTok.

Is TikTok really a risk to US national security concerns? If not, what are the real reasons for the US' remorseless attempt to crack down on TikTok? And what will be the consequences if the ban takes effect? This episode of Facts Unpacked may shed light on the questions.

Reporter | Lydia Liu, Jersey Kwok, Steven Yuen, Zeng Qianzhi (intern), Zheng Suxin (intern), Chen Nana (intern) 

Video editor | Jimmy Guan

Editor | Nan Hu, Monica Liu, Will, James

Zhi Zhucheng and Chen Jinqing contributed to the story.

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