Kristi Noem claims Chinese spies in her state are why TikTok ban is needed – Washington Examiner

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) stressed how important it is for the U.S. government to ban TikTok, claiming that Chinese spies had been in her state trying to steal information.

The topic of banning TikTok in the United States has been discussed increasingly among lawmakers, with Noem stating it’s needed to ensure the safety of the country from China‘s influence. She also stated that South Dakota had Chinese spies make a visit to her state, during which they tried to “tour our facilities and steal our genetics.”

“And thankfully, we had refused all their meetings, but that’s what they’re doing, and it’s from every angle, and they’re crossing the southern border on purpose because their government is sending them here to spy on us,” Noem said on Fox News’s Hannity. “I’m alarmed that the American people haven’t woken up to this yet. I mean, be a little inconvenienced and give up TikTok, for God’s sake.”

The South Dakota governor also condemned a recent call that Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said he received, in which the caller threatened to physically harm him over his support to ban TikTok. Noem argued that this type of reaction is what people can expect when TikTok is involved, which she said is owned by the Chinese Communist Party.

“Their number one desire is to destroy America, so that is why we should be alarmed at the amount of influence that they have in the country,” they unleashed a pandemic and a virus on the world at the exact same time they released TikTok to make it proliferate and go out there and influence our youth and people to make them think that threats like are funny. So that is absolute insanity that those kinds of things were happening and that TikTok was doing, but that’s what we can expect from China.”

Last week, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to pass legislation to force TikTok to separate itself from ByteDance or risk getting banned in the United States. The legislation passed with a vote of 352-65, and now awaits a vote in the Senate.


Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has spoken out against passing this legislation, stating that TikTok is not owned by China and instead is owned by a mix of investors, engineers, and TikTok employees. The Kentucky senator also argued against banning the platform because “emulating Chinese communists is not the best way to combat Chinese communists.”

President Joe Biden has stated that he would sign the House bill against TikTok should it ever reach his desk. His statement was made even though his campaign is still using TikTok, likely as a move to reach younger voters ahead of the 2024 presidential election.