The USA are targeting TikTok: the popular app is threatened with a ban.
German politicians are also concerned.
At Ippen.Media they say what has to happen now.
Berlin – Is it just entertainment – or is it already a national security risk?
Around 150 million Americans use the TikTok app.
But there is resistance from politicians from Democrats and Republicans.
Because: TikTok is more than a short video service - at least that's the fear.
The platform belongs to the Chinese Bytedance Group.
And could thus be under the political control of Beijing.
A ban is imminent in the USA.
And in Germany?
TikTok is also popular in this country.
And here, too, politicians are concerned.
"TikTok is quite harmless as a fun social media platform," says Reinhard Brandl, the Union's digital policy spokesman in the Bundestag.
But that is only half the truth.
"But behind this, at least theoretically, one of the most powerful propaganda tools in the world is hidden," Brandl told the
Munich newspaper Merkur
TikTok: Why Interior Minister Nancy Faeser doesn't believe in a ban
However, a ban is difficult.
There is no basis for this, said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) recently during a visit to Washington.
However, one must clarify that TikTok is a company where "the data can of course flow away," says Faeser.
The debate about a TikTok ban in Germany should not end with the minister's word of power.
CSU man Brandl sees possibilities to ban the video service - namely if the operators of the app do not submit to the Digital Services Act of the European Union.
With this, the EU wants to enforce transparency when handling data, for example how content – keyword algorithm – is played out.
Those who do not comply with the requirements face penalties – up to and including a ban.
Debate about TikTok: Traffic light politicians see the company as having an obligation
In the government camp, TikTok is also viewed critically.
But nobody is talking about a ban.
SPD digital expert Jens Zimmermann strengthens Interior Minister Faeser.
"A ban on TikTok would currently be completely disproportionate," Zimmermann told our editorial team.
According to the social democrat, there is currently no information about the outflow of data to China.
TikTok also refers to this.
User data is safe.
The company also emphasizes that it does not see itself as a subsidiary of a Chinese company.
60 percent of the company's shares are in the hands of Western investors.
And: The company's headquarters are on the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.
Or in other words: far away from China.
But how far does Beijing's long arm reach?
FDP digital expert Maximilian Funke-Kaiser says that social media apps are known for collecting a large amount of data.
"However, TikTok differs from other applications in that the parent company has close ties to an autocratic government," said the liberal MP to the
Funke-Kaier demands: Personal data must not fall into the hands of the Chinese government.
Government and opposition agree: TikTok has no place on company cell phones
Green digital spokesman Maik Außendorf made a similar statement.
In view of the current geopolitical tensions, one must assume that Beijing could try to raise TikTok's data treasure – in order to exert influence.
From the perspective of Außendorf, however, the Digital Service Act is the right legislative instrument to hold platforms accountable and to prevent the spread of disinformation.
"There is a clear legal framework that TikTok has to adhere to," said Außendorf to
On one point, everyone - whether government or opposition - agrees: TikTok has no place, at least on the official cell phones of government politicians.
List of rubrics: © IMAGO/Jakub Porzycki