US-China shake hands? Biden and Xi discuss TikTok sale in recent phone call

Biden discusses TikTok ownership with Xi, highlighting national security and data protection.

Shantanu Poswal
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During a comprehensive call on Tuesday, President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed various topics, including efforts concerning the sale of TikTok Inc. in the United States. White House spokesman John Kirby briefed reporters on the call, revealing that TikTok was a prominent topic during the discussion, marking the first direct conversation between the leaders since November.

Regarding TikTok, President Biden expressed his ongoing concerns about the ownership of the popular video-sharing app by a Chinese entity. Kirby clarified that the discussion didn't revolve around a ban on the application but rather emphasized the United States' interest in ensuring divestiture. This focus aimed to safeguard the national security interests and data security of American citizens.

The House of Representatives in the United States had passed a bill the previous month concerning TikTok. The bill proposed a ban on the video-sharing app unless its Chinese owner, ByteDance Ltd, divests its stake. President Biden had indicated his intention to sign the bill into law. However, the bill's fate in the US Senate remains uncertain at this point.