Efforts to ban TikTok from U.S. federal employee devices are moving forward, which could have a major impact on the social media platform’s reputation and advertising revenue.
This week, lawmakers included the ban in a spending bill to mitigate security risks. Some politicians have warned that the Chinese government could be using the app to censor users and spy on Americans.
Several government agencies have already banned TikTok on devices, with White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson saying that the Biden Administration “has never allowed Tik Tok on White House devices.”
“We’re disappointed that Congress has moved to ban TikTok on government devices — a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests — rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review,” said Brooke Oberwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok.
The measure is expected to be voted on this week and sent to the desk of President Biden.
While usership isn’t expected to be impacted by the ban, it could make a huge dent in the incredibly popular app.
“That is what TikTok is at massive risk for: of having that brand reputational (blow) impact the overall revenue monetization that they can make,” said Eunice Shin, a partner at brand strategist Prophet.