Why is the US trying to ban TikTok again?

Another week, another concerted effort to ban TikTok in the US — except this time, it might actually happen. In this episode, Cherlynn and Devindra chat with Engadget Editor-in-Chief Karissa Bell about the latest TikTok drama. The House of Representatives passed a bill that could ban ByteDance if it doesn’t sell it within six months. It may face a tougher fight in the Senate, but if confirmed there, President Biden has said he is prepared to sign it into law.

Is this a legitimate fight against a Chinese-owned social media company, or is it the sum total of our political fears of all things China? (Maybe it’s a little bit of both?) We discuss why this potential ban could be a huge civil rights violation, as well as the need for real data privacy laws that apply to all social networks in the US.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast app of your choice. If you have suggestions or topics you’d like to cover on the show, be sure send us an email or drop a note in the comments! Be sure to check out our other podcast, Engadget News!


  • US House passes bill giving Bytedance 6 months to sell TikTok – 0:47

  • Microsoft’s Overview of Surface and AI Events – 5:04 p.m

  • Apple will allow EU users to download some apps from websites – 27:38

  • Five Tesla executives earned $2.5 billion over the past five years without paying any income taxes – 34:53

  • Around Engadget – 44:57

  • Works – 48:31

  • Pop Culture Picks – 50:17


Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar
Guest: Carissa Bell
Producer: Ben Ellman
Music: Dale North and Terrence O’Brien

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