Gen Z voters concerned about China’s influence, but oppose full TikTok ban: poll

Tik Tok
Greg Nash
A sign in support of Tik Tok is seen before a press conference on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 with creators and Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Mark Pocan and Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) to call out a ban on the social media app.

Most Generation Z voters in a new poll say that while they are concerned about the Chinese government’s potential influence over the popular video-sharing app TikTok, they oppose a full federal ban on the platform. 

A new poll from SocialSphere found 51 percent of Gen Z voters — defined as ages 18-26 — are concerned that TikTok is owned by China-based parent company ByteDance, which has been reported to have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Sixty-four percent of millennial voters — defined as ages 27 to 42 — reported the same concern.

But while 49 percent of millennial voters said they support a nationwide ban on the app if its Chinese owners don’t sell to a U.S. operator, just 34 percent of Gen Z voters said the same.

TikTok boasts more than 150 million U.S. users. Seventy-one percent of Gen Z voters in the new survey said they had an active TikTok account, with “active” defined as having been used in the last 30 days, while just 43 percent of millennials said the same.

TikTok came in second place for Gen Z voters just behind Instagram, on which 76 percent of that age group said they have an active account. Facebook was by far the most popular app among millennials, with 79 percent saying they have an active account, followed by Instagram, on which 69 percent of the age group said they were active.

The survey, taken on Wednesday, comes amid heightened congressional scrutiny on the app over concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to U.S. user data. 

TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified Thursday before Congress as lawmakers mull over a potential federal ban. The Biden administration earlier this month said it would ban TikTok in the U.S. if ByteDance does not sell to an American company.

The SocialSphere poll, first reported by NBC News, surveyed 1,607 registered voters on March 22 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Tags ByteDance Gen Z National security TikTok

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