Biden’s Campaign to Stay on TikTok Despite Divestment Law

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden’s campaign says it will continue to use its account on TikTok even after he signed legislation into law that forces its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., to sell its stake or face a ban in US app stores.

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The legislation was included in a foreign aid package releasing long-stalled assistance for Ukraine and Israel. Biden expressed support for the divest-or-ban effort over concerns about Americans’ data security and privacy, even before it was tied to the package.

The campaign is taking advanced security measures while using the social video platform, including by posting from separate devices, according to campaign officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss their practices. Biden’s team says the presence on the app is part of a strategy to reach voters in as many arenas as possible, including online.

TikTok has more than 170 million American users, according to the company. The platform has a significant number of Gen-Z and millennial voters, crucial voting blocs for Democrats who were propelled to better-than-expected results in the 2022 midterms in part through youth turnout.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it isn’t the administration’s intention to ban the platform, but rather for it to be purchased by a US owner, so it’s no longer controlled by China.

“We do not want to see a ban,” she told reporters Wednesday. “There are already American investors who are willing and are interested.”

A representative for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a request to comment on whether they plan to use TikTok in the 2024 election.

--With assistance from Stephanie Lai and Justin Sink.

(Updates with White House comment, Trump campaign non-response on TikTok use)

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