Tik Tok is actually a major media platform now, and it isn’t just silly videos. The diversity of content makes it a lucrative platform for content makers, but also obviously advertisers. You can find incredibly helpful information there. You can find incredibly detrimental disinformation there. You can laugh and learn. Of course it can be influential; all media is. Social media in particular only thrives at the level it does because of influencers. Tik tok has the youth, especially in the US, tightly in its grasp because the youth are the future. So it isn’t exactly shocking that politicians are adapting to this platform in and of itself. It’s only shocking that they would allow a known Chinese government tool to operate on government issued hardware.
Having said that, whether it’s China, western businesses/companies, or other governments, please understand that the point of allowing free access to any platform is to gather data on its users. The price you pay for access is your data. Nothing in this world is free. Nothing about any of this should be shocking.