A poll published Monday conducted by Reuters and Ipsos found that 40 percent of Americans approve of President Trump’s recent executive order instructing TikTok, a video social media app, to sell its U.S. operations or risk getting banned from the United States altogether.
The online poll, with a 3 percentage point margin of error, surveyed over 1,000 adults and found that while 40 percent of Americans agreed with the order and 30 percent of Americans did not agree, 30 percent claimed that they didn’t have enough knowledge to have an opinion.
Despite bipartisan support for investigating TikTok, a product of Chinese company ByteDance, as a potential security threat, poll responses were shown to be partisan with 69 percent of Republicans approving of the threat of a ban, compared to 21 percent of Democrats who said they approved.
According to Reuters, however, most Americans maintained “a fleeting knowledge of the brand” with only 32 percent of Republicans in support of the order claiming that they “were familiar with the app” and only 46 percent of Democrats claiming they “were familiar with the app.”
Last November, the federal government opened an investigation into TikTok over surveillance concerns. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called the video app “China’s best detective.” Under Chinese law, any Chinese-owned technology company must give the Chinese Communist Party access to all of the data apps like TikTok collect.
President Trump signed the executive order in early August citing national security as the main reason for the urgency of TikTok’s sale or banishment, noting that many federal offices had already prohibited the video app from federal government technology after it was discovered that the company was “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users.”
Trump also explicitly expressed his interest in the sale of the app, but didn’t back down on his threat to ban the company from the United States.
“I set a date of around Sept. 15, at which point it’s going to be out of business,” Trump told White House reporters. “But if somebody, and whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, buys it, that’ll be interesting.”