A poll found that 46% of adults in the U.S. think China uses the app to spy on Americans and 50% want to ban TikTok.

Poll: Half of American adults support banning TikTok, and 46% believe China uses the app to snoop on Americans


As early as January 2025, a new rule in the U.S. could ban TikTok across the whole country. About half of Americans are okay with this, with many saying they are worried about data privacy and Chinese messaging. 

 A new Reuters/Ipsos study shows that most Americans (56%) don’t like TikTok and half of them want the app from China-based ByteDance to be banned across the whole country.

President Biden signed the “Protecting Americans on April 24 Data From Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024” into law. This came after it passed Congress with strong backing from both parties. The law says that ByteDance has to sell its share of TikTok within nine months (with an option to extend the limit by 90 days) to a party or parties that are not based in a country that the U.S. considers a “foreign adversary.” If it doesn’t, it will be illegal to share TikTok. 

 TikTok said it will go to court to fight the law based on the First Amendment. Since ByteDance has said it doesn’t plan to sell its TikTok shares, the ban is likely to go into effect if that doesn’t work. 

 Half of Americans want to stop TikTok, while the other half are against it (32% are against it) and 18% are not sure. People ages 18 to 34 are split down: 31% want a ban, 50% are against it. Most Americans aged 35 to 54 (54%) and 55 and up (60%) want the app to be banned. 

 What about 55% of Americans think? They think that ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, uses the app to change people’s minds in the US. The Ipsos/Reuters study also found that 46% of people believe that the Chinese government uses TikTok to spy on Americans, while 16% say they don’t believe this and 37% aren’t sure. Also, 58% believe that the Chinese government uses TikTok to sway popular opinion in the United States. Only 13% disagree, and 28% are not sure. 

 Last week, before the vote on the “divest or ban” bill for TikTok, chair of the Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), said that she thought TikTok and ByteDance were “weaponizing” data and AI to spy on Americans, including reporters who cover the business. ByteDance sacked four workers in 2022 for “misconduct” after learning that they had accessed TikTok data on many users, including two reporters. 

 A study by Ipsos and Reuters found that 90% of U.S. people think content creators would move to other platforms if TikTok was banned. Also, 45% said they were afraid that a ban on TikTok would hurt small businesses or performers, and 46% agreed that a ban would violate people’s right to free speech. 

 About one-seventh of Americans say they use TikTok often. People in the 18–34 age group say they use the app a lot (34%), which is a lot more than the 16% and 7% who say they use it often (35–54 and 55+). 

 The poll by Ipsos was done for Reuters on April 29 and 30 with a group of 1,022 adults in the U.S. who are 18 or older and are thought to be typical. At a 95% confidence level, the sampling error for data based on the whole group of adults is +/- 3.2 percentage points.  

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