Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) urging them to reject the proposal for a partnership between TikTok and Oracle because the agreement does not meet the goal of completely eliminating the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) access to its users’ data in the United States, the New York Post reported.
On Sept. 14, according to another New York Post report, the California-based company Oracle announced an agreement with ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to become its “trusted technology provider.” The agreement would generally allow Oracle to manage the information of TikTok users and business operations in the United States, but without owning the application.
Hawley asked in his letter that CFIUS reject the agreement immediately between ByteDance and Oracle. Hawley said that the application should be sold completely to a U.S. company so that it could be built from scratch and eliminate any trace of CCP influence in the United States.
Oracle’s proposal came after ByteDance rejected the one made by Microsoft.
In late July of this year, President Trump announced that he would ban the TikTok application in the country due to national security concerns. A month earlier, on June 29 according to the BBC the Indian government took the same action and banned TikTok along with several other Chinese applications amid tensions over a conflict with the CCP over the Himalayan border and calls for a boycott of “Made in China.”
The Trump administration repeatedly accused the CCP of stealing U.S. intellectual property, and FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News that of the 5,000 counterintelligence operations, half are related to China.
On July 21 the Justice Department announced the prosecution of two Chinese working for the Guangdong State Security Department for participating in an operation to steal intellectual property—confidential business information including research on the CCP Virus vaccine.
On July 23, the administration closed the Chinese Consulate in retaliation for an operation to spy on U.S. energy companies by the CCP.
Given this background, it is not surprising that Hawley, who was recently included on Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees, took a tough stance.
Hawley made clear, “In any event, an ongoing ‘partnership’ that allows for anything other than the full emancipation of the TikTok software from potential Chinese Communist Party control is completely unacceptable, and flatly inconsistent with the President’s Executive Order of August 6.”