In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Ms. Caitlin Chin to discuss the debate around TikTok in the United States and the question of China’s influence over the platform. Ms. Chin explains the conversation around the U.S.’ proposed ban of TikTok, describing that supporters worry that user information will fall into the hands of the Chinese government, while opponents worry about restrictions on free expression. Despite TikTok’s denial that Beijing has or would obtain access to its data, Ms. Chin suggests deep mistrust between the U.S. and China has prevented U.S. lawmakers from accepting these claims. Lastly, Ms. Chin looks to India as an analogue for what could happen if the United States banned TikTok, noting that TikTok’s exit in India caused an increase in users for domestic social media platforms.
Caitlin Chin is a Fellow with the Strategic Technologies Program at CSIS. Ms. Chin previously worked as a research analyst at the Brookings Institution, where her projects centered around U.S. federal and state legislation related to information privacy, antitrust, and algorithmic bias. She has spoken on C-SPAN, NPR, and France 24, and her work has been cited by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Future of Privacy Forum. Ms. Chin has a BA in government and Spanish from the University of Maryland and an MPP from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.