Progress of Chinese App Ban at University of Tennessee

7 minute read



The Obeservation of an International Student on Progress of Chinese App Ban: State Legislation, University Policy, and the Affected Community at the UT.

Published on May 12, 2023, and last updated on November 17, 2023.

Quick Links: 简体中文 | SB0843 | Amendment1 | TikTok Law

SB0834 Video, discussion on SB0834 starts from 1:55:55.

Amendment1 Video, discussion on Amendment1 starts from 37:42.

Table of contents:

Campus Leaders’ Meeting with the University Members

Meeting Photo Campus Leaders’ Meeting.

Contact Jinning Wang at if any copyright concerns.

On November 5, Chancellor Donde Plowman and her Cabinet met with the invited university members to discuss the Tik Tok ban.

At the beginning, attendees explored potential alternative apps and technologies that could be of assistance. Unfortunately, the discussion did not lead to any meaningful conclusions.

Subsequently, campus leaders introduced their ongoing pilot project aimed at helping the impacted community stay in touch with their families and friends in China. This project is expected to take a couple of weeks to complete preliminary test.

One suggestion from the students during the meeting was to consider providing financial support to the affected community as a means of mitigating the ban’s impact. However, campus leaders expressed concerns about whether university funding could be utilized in this manner.

Additionally, Jinning Wang wondered a justification for the list of banned apps, as he had been advocating for this since the beginning. The campus leaders explained that both WeChat and TikTok had been explicitly mentioned during the legislative discussion, while other apps were added based on conventions followed by other institutions.

In the end, Jinning Wang made two requests of the university: 1) A written report detailing the university’s involvement in the legislation process, internal discussions, and the criteria for app selection; 2) An email from the university expressing apologies to the impacted community for the lack of communication and demonstrating their support for the affected members.

The campus leaders agreed to comply with both requests.

CFAAPI meeting with the Chancellor Donde Plowman and her leadership team

On September 5, CFAAPI leaders were invited to meet with the Chancellor Donde Plowman and her leadership team. In this context, CFAAPI forwarded Jinning Wang’s feedback to the campus leadership team.

Jinning Wang’s letter is excerpted below, and he strongly advocates for the third mitigation measure, as he believes it will benefit the entire Volunteers:

Dear University of Tennessee Campus Leaders,

I would like to offer some suggestions regarding the recent Chinese app ban policy that has been implemented at our university.

In light of the Chinese app ban policy, our university faces several potential challenges that merit attention:

  1. Compliance with State Government: As a subordinate institution to the state government, the university is obligated to follow government decisions, regardless of the decision’s nature.

  2. Lack of Awareness: Campus leaders may not be fully aware of the potential negative consequences associated with this policy.

  3. Lack of Precedence: The university may not have encountered similar issues in the past, leading to uncertainty in handling this situation.

  4. Lack of Appropriate Discussion with Impacted Communities: Adequate consultation and discussion with the communities affected by this policy may not have occurred, potentially leading to misunderstandings and concerns.

To address these challenges, I propose several mitigation measures:

  1. Feedback Mechanism: To bridge the gap between the state government and the university’s operational realities, establishing a feedback mechanism can help convey the challenges and complexities faced by our institution due to the app ban.

  2. Task Force: Given the busy schedules of campus leaders, forming a dedicated task force comprising experts who can thoroughly analyze the policy’s impact and potential alternatives could be more effective and practical.

  3. Transparency through Reporting: Publish a comprehensive report detailing the timeline of the university’s involvement in the legislation process, internal discussions, and the criteria for app selection. This report would provide valuable insights to all volunteers and help create a more balanced policy.

  4. Suspending the Controversial Policy: Considering the potential negative impact and lack of convincing justification, it may be prudent to temporarily suspend the controversial policy until further convincing evidence or justifications are provided.

Your dedication to ensuring the best interests of the university and its community is greatly appreciated. Thank you for considering these suggestions, and I look forward to seeing how we can collectively navigate this issue.

Jinning Wang

Listening session to support UT Chinese community

On May 5, Center for Global Engagement hosted a listening session to support the Chinese community. In the session, university members from various backgrounds expressed their concerns and suggesstions, which is available at Part of commonts from listening session to support UT Chinese community.

Opinion on UT Chinese app ban

On May 3, Jinning Wang shared his opinion on the University of Tennessee’s Chinese app ban, Opinion: On Chinese app ban, UT can comply with state law and protect individual rights.

Interview on the impacted Chinese community

On April 18, the [UT Daily Beacon][UT Daily Beacon] conducted a timely interview shedding light on the Chinese community directly impacted by the recent Chinese app ban. In the interview, Chinese students, who have been stripped of their communication tools due to state law, express their concerns regarding the perceived lack of support from the university. Read more about their experiences in the article, Chinese students stripped of communications by state law claim lack of university support.

UT implemented Chinese app ban

On April 14, following the signing of the law by Governor Bill Lee on April 13, Ramon Padilla, CIO and Vice Chancellor for IT and Innovation, on behalf of the University of Tennessee, sent out an email on to inform the University of Tennessee system on the newly implemented “TikTok Law.”

SB 0834 was filed for introduction

On January 30, SB0843 by Senator Jon Lundberg was filed for introduction to prohibit a public institution of higher education that provides internet access to students, faculty, staff or the general public from allowing an individual to access a video platform using the institution’s network if the video platform is owned by a company headquartered outside of the United States. On March 2, Amendment1 was made to the bill on to specify the range as social media platforms operated or hosted by a company based in the People’s Republic of China.





11月5日,校长 Donde Plowman 及其内阁与受邀的大学成员会面,讨论 Tik Tok 禁令。




此外,王晋宁对被禁应用程序名单的理由提出疑问,一如该事件开始时那样。 校领导解释说,立法讨论中明确提到了 WeChat 和 TikTok,而其他应用程序是根据其他机构的惯例添加的。




9月5日CFAAPI 领导受邀与校长 Donde Plowman 及校领导团队会面。在此背景下,CFAAPI将王晋宁的反馈意见转交给了校领导团队。





  1. 遵守州政府法规:作为州政府的从属机构,大学有义务遵守政府的决定,无论其性质如何。
  2. 缺乏认识:校园领导可能未能充分认识到与这一政策相关的潜在负面后果。
  3. 缺乏先例:大学可能以前没有遇到类似的问题,这可能导致在处理这种情况时伴有不确定性。
  4. 与受影响群体缺乏适当的讨论:可能尚未与受该政策影响的社区进行充分的咨询和讨论,这可能导致误解和担忧。


  1. 反馈机制:为了弥合州政府与大学实际运营之间的差距,建立反馈机制有助于传达由于App禁令而使我们单位面临的挑战和复杂性。
  2. 工作组:鉴于校领导的繁忙工作日程,成立一个由专家组成的工作组,可以对政策的影响和潜在替代方案进行彻底分析,可能更加有效和切实可行。
  3. 通过报告实现透明度:公开一份详尽的报告,详细描述大学参与立法过程的时间线,内部讨论以及App选择标准。这份报告将为所有志愿者提供有价值的见解,有助于制定更加平衡的政策。
  4. 暂停有争议的政策:考虑到潜在的负面影响和缺乏令人信服的理由,暂时暂停有争议的政策可能是明智的,直到提供进一步令人信服的证据或理由。




5月5日CGE 举办了一场支持中国社区的听证会。 会上,来自不同背景的大学成员表达了他们的关注和建议,可在部分来自支持UT中国社区听证会的评论中查看。




4月18日UT Daily Beacon 对最近中国应用禁令直接受影响的华人群体进行了及时采访。在采访中,由于州法律而失去通讯工具的中国学生,表达了他们对大学缺乏支持的担忧。


4月14日,在州长 Bill Lee 于4月13日签署法律后,Ramon Padilla,首席信息官兼信息技术与创新副校长,代表田纳西大学,向田纳西大学系统发送了一封电子邮件,通知他们关于新实施的“TikTok法”。

SB 0834提交

1月30日,参议员 Jon Lundberg 提出 SB0843 以禁止为学生、教职员工或公众提供互联网访问的高等教育公共机构允许个人使用总部位于美国以外的公司拥有的视频平台通过该机构的网络进行访问。 3月2日修正案1被添加到该法案中,以明确范围为由中国人民共和国公司运营或托管的社交媒体平台。