Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told CNBC that he would likely ban TikTok if given the opportunity because the social media app is owned by a Chinese company.
“I do think it represents a threat to our country given China’s ownership of it,” DeSantis told CNBC’s Brian Sullivan in an interview that aired Monday on “Last Call,” when he was asked if he would ban the social media service.
DeSantis, who trails Donald Trump in the race to become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, was broadly critical of U.S. policy toward China in the interview. He said the U.S. may need to look to regulatory and tax policies that can favor domestic businesses to incentivize them to focus on the domestic economy.
“There’s a reason why stuff has been outsourced to China, because it can be done cheaper and people can make more money,” DeSantis said. “We’re in a predicament here.”
TikTok has been a political hot-button issue in Washington dating back to the Trump administration, which threatened to ban the app but never followed through with action. More recently, Congress introduced new bills earlier this year that would allow the Biden administration to ban TikTok.
DeSantis referred to the bills as “too heavy-handed,” claiming they would “invade peoples’ privacy,” but he said he would still probably support a ban.
“The United States has been the No. 1 source of Chinese wealth, and what have they done with that wealth? They’ve built up their military,” DeSantis said. “They are the top threat to this country.”