The most fascinating dance you can see on TikTok isn't done by a 15-year-old kid trying to follow the latest viral challenge. It is the one that for two years has to dance Shou Zi Chew, president of the company, to try to please both Western governments and China and thus save what has become the social network with the greatest growth potential.

This Thursday, in a marathon session of more than four hours in the United States Congress, he danced it again. He appeared before Republican and Democratic congressmen who sit on the Energy and Commerce Committee to answer dozens of questions about the company's moderation policies, the controls it has to prevent minors from accessing it, the impact on the mental health of young people or whether the company censors content uncomfortable for the Beijing government. such as the Tiananmen massacre or the existence of internment camps for the Uighur ethnic minority in the northwest of the country.

But perhaps more importantly, Chew was forced to acknowledge that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, still has access to some of the data of American users. He also explained that there is already a plan underway to cut it completely and insisted that the company does not share this data with the Chinese government. "We have never done it and we will refuse to do it if asked," he said.

This issue has become the greatest danger to the survival of an incredibly addictive short video application already used by more than 1,000 million people around the world and that this year could move more than 18,000 million dollars in advertising.

Dozens of governments, including the U.S. and several European Union countries, have begun restricting the use of TikTok on official phones for fear that it is being used by the Chinese government to spy on users' communications or obtain personal data, such as the exact location or the list of close contacts.

In themselves, these restrictions are a serious problem for the company, but not a deadly blow. The US government, however, is now willing to go further, and is considering a total ban on the application – like the one that already exists in India – if ByteDance does not agree to sell TikTok.

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This complete blocking of the application was also attempted by the administration of Donald Trump in 2020, but was stopped by a federal judge. The company agreed, however, to move all U.S. user data to servers in Singapore and the U.S. overseen by Oracle.

The Biden administration, however, believes that it has not been enough and the only solution it contemplates is to force the total sale of the company. The Chinese government has been adamantly against this solution and says it will damage the reputation of the US among investors.

If there were to be a complete block of the application, TikTok would lose 150 million users in the best advertising market, a blow from which it would be difficult to recover. But the Biden administration could also pay a heavy price. The app is by far preferred by a young generation that could have a big impact on the upcoming presidential election.

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