The most fascinating dance that can be seen on TikTok is not done by a 15-year-old boy trying to follow the latest viral challenge. He is the one who for two years has had to dance Shou Zi Chew, president of the company, to try to please both the Western governments and China and thus save what has become the social network with the greatest growth potential.

This Thursday, in a marathon session of more than four hours in the United States Congress, he danced it again. He appeared before Republican and Democratic congressmen who are part of the Energy and Commerce Committee to answer dozens of questions about the company’s moderation policies, the controls it has to prevent minors from accessing it, the impact on health mental health of young people or if the company censors content that is uncomfortable for the Beijing government, such as the Tiananmen massacre or the existence of internment camps for the Uyghur ethnic minority in the northwest of the country.

But perhaps more importantly, Chew was forced to acknowledge that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, still has access to some of the American user data. He also explained that there is already a plan underway to cut it completely and insisted that the company does not share this data with the Chinese government. “We have never done it and we will refuse to do it if they ask for it,” he went on to say.

This issue has become the biggest danger to the survival of an incredibly addictive short video app that is already used by more than 1 billion people worldwide and that this year could move more than 18 billion dollars in advertising.

Dozens of governments, including the US and several countries in the European Union, have begun to restrict the use of TikTok on official phones for fear that it is being used by the Chinese government to spy on user communications or obtain data. personal information, such as the exact location or the list of close contacts.

In and of themselves, these restrictions are a serious problem for the company, but not a fatal blow. The US government, however, is now willing to go further, considering a full ban on the app – like the one that already exists in India – if ByteDance doesn’t agree to sell TikTok.

This complete blocking of the application was also attempted by the Donald Trump administration in 2020, but was stopped by a federal judge. The company agreed, however, to move all US user data to servers in Singapore and the US supervised by the US company Oracle.

The Biden government, however, believes that it has not been enough and the only solution it contemplates is to force the total sale of the company. The Chinese government has been strongly against this solution and assures that it will damage the reputation of the US among investors.

If there were to be a complete app crash, TikTok would lose 150 million users to the best ad market, a hit from which it would be hard to recover. But the Biden administration could also pay a high price. The app is by far the favorite for a young generation that could have a big impact in the upcoming presidential election.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project