Scott Schober, a cybersecurity expert in New York pointed out that TikTok's data gathering is not unique as other contemporary apps operate in a similar manner, which calls the idea of the app being a major national security threat into question.
"This is an election year. He has to make a strong stance and make a specific forwarding movement from his political career. He also has a Trump empire, an organization that could benefit or get hurt based upon all these things. Then there's the national security interest, I think that's a little bit lower on the ladder in this particular case because really all apps on our smartphones are very similar. They reach out to the network, they send information. That's true of TikTok here too and there is a hundred million plus users of TikTok right now in the US. So, national security interest - it's a stretch - but it could be argued that China could now have access to these hundred plus million users and growing," said Schober.
Professor Huang Jing from Beijing Language and Culture University also contends that the security concerns are not a convincing argument as he noted that TikTok is already operating independently in the US.
"As we know, TikTok has already cut all its connections with China, even moving its server or it will move servers to the United States. In other words, it's an American company altogether, even though it originated from China. So if that's the case, if TikTok opens books, be transparent, let the United States government look into all the data it could collect and run it as an American company that follows the rules and laws of United States, then the issue of national security is not very convincing here," said Huang.
Huang also said that the real reason of Trump's gesture lies in the upcoming re-election.
"Largely, it’s a campaign gimmick. In other words, President Donald Trump wants to use this to maybe gain something in his election campaign, which is not really carrying any momentum right now. Another reason, of course, maybe there are some issues, as he's a businessman. Maybe he thinks this will help him to promote American business because TikTok does have very strong competition in the United States," said Huang.