TIKTOK BAN: Australian boss Brett Armstrong says no need for popular app to be sold Down Under

Caleb Runciman
The Nightly
TikTok’s Australian boss has defended calls for the popular app to be banned after the United States passed a bill urging its Chinese parent company to sell. 
TikTok’s Australian boss has defended calls for the popular app to be banned after the United States passed a bill urging its Chinese parent company to sell.  Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP

TikTok’s Australian boss says there’s no need for our country to follow a US move that will either force the popular app to be to sold from its Chinese owners or banned altogether.

TikTok’s General manager of advertising in Australia, Brett Armstrong, argued there was “no reason” for the social media app to be banned, instead pointing to its positive impact on local businesses.

“There’s no evidence of any concerns and that’s why we’re focused on (TikTok’s contributions) here,” Mr Armstrong told the Australian Financial Review.

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A bill that passed the US Senate on Wednesday is due to be signed by President Joe Biden, which will require the app’s Chinese parent company Byte Dance to sell.

The bill will direct the company to sell within the next nine months unless the deadline is extended to allow for a possible sale.

It is expected the sale will put pressure on trade between the two countries.

Congress voted in favour of the law amid fears the app enabled the Chinese parent company to influence American citizens, under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party.

Coalition home affairs spokesman James Paterson told the AFR that Australians could be using a more “dangerous” version of TikTok unless laws were passed by the Albanese government.

“(There could be] a safer one for Americans, free of Chinese Communist Party influence, and a dangerous one for the rest of the world including Australia beholden to an authoritarian state,” Mr Paterson said.

A spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said while the app had been removed from government phones they did not support the US Bill.

“We are monitoring events in the US closely, and will take additional advice if any potential sale or new information from our agencies make it necessary,” the spokesman said.

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