TikTok, the short-form video social media company owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, has garnered significant popularity in recent years, amassing over 1 billion active users worldwide and surpassing Google as the most popular domain in 2021, according to data from Cloudflare. But TikTok’s Chinese ownership has concerned U.S. lawmakers. Both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have raised alarms over ByteDance, which critics say has previously censored content at the behest of the Chinese government (claims TikTok representatives have denied). As China’s 2017 social media law requires companies to turn over any personal data relevant to national security, many fear that China will have easy access to Americans’ browsing history, location, and biometric information. As such, U.S. officials have engaged in fierce debate over how to counter China’s influence, from forcing the transfer of TikTok’s ownership, to banning the platform outright. In May 2023, Montana became the first state to ban TikTok, though the platform swiftly filed a federal lawsuit to block the ban. Bipartisan bans and restrictions have been suggested on the federal level as well, warranting heated debates, both in the government and civil society. Concerns related to Chinese surveillance and propaganda, as well as the potential for theft of state intellectual property, continue to mount.