GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said social media personality and fighter Jake Paul convinced him to make an account on TikTok so that he can reach young people. The app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is highly popular among teenagers and young adults.
The fact that TikTok is a Chinese app is precisely why Ramaswamy was against using the app in the first place, as the 2024 presidential hopeful believes the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the one-party ruling government of China, collects data on American users and therefore represents a national security risk.
“Sixty percent of [Gen Z] say they would sooner give up their right to vote than to give up their access to TikTok. I’m not making this up. This is the stuff of a national crisis unless we step up and stand from something as a nation,” Ramaswamy reportedlysaid at an event in Iowa last month.
There are legitimate grounds for Ramaswamy’s belief, as the U.S. branch of TikTok admits it shares data with ByteDance and it is a known fact that all companies in China are integrated with the CCP.
“Had dinner with Jake Paul on Sunday,” Ramaswamy began in a Sept. 13 post to social media platform X. He continued:
He changed my mind and convinced me to join TikTok. Yes, kids under age 16 shouldn’t be using it, but the fact is that many young voters are & we’re not going to change this country without winning. We can’t just talk about the importance of the GOP “reaching young voters” while hiding in our own echo chambers. It’s bad when the CCP collects data from U.S. users via TikTok, but the truth is it’s no better when “American” companies like Airbnb do the same thing by handing over U.S. user data to China, and we’re not going to get China to play by the same set of rules until we win this thing. I’ll be on there starting later today.
Had dinner with @JakePaul on Sunday. He changed my mind and convinced me to join TikTok. Yes, kids under age 16 shouldn’t be using it, but the fact is that many young voters are & we’re not going to change this country without winning. We can’t just talk about the importance of…
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) September 13, 2023
Ramaswamy then launched his TikTok handle @vivekgramaswamy, posting soundbites and other video clips.
Recently, Jake Paul took to Instagram to share his opinions about the upcoming election, saying he believed it is “the most important election in the past 100 years” and warned that “America is falling.”
He also posted a clip of him boxing with GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, writing, “With all that said I like Vivek as a person and human truly. F*ck republican and democrat. He’s a good a** American who can seriously help us.” Ramaswamy later posted a clip of them playing tennis.