Wednesday, June 12, 2024

TikTok Facing Potential US Ban as Congress Passes Bill Requiring Sale


The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to pass a bill that will either ban TikTok from app stores operating in the country or force Chinese company ByteDance to sell the short-form video app.

The landmark bill has now passed both chambers of Congress, having already been approved by the House of Representatives. President Biden says he will sign the bill into law on Wednesday.

Once that happens, TikTok will be banned in the United States if ByteDance does not divest ownership within nine months, with a possible three-month extension to that deadline if a deal is in progress. China would need to approve any sale, but the Chinese government has already made it clear that it will “firmly oppose” such a move.

ByteDance is also expected to launch a legal challenge against the bill by arguing that it will deprive the app’s 170 million U.S. users of their First Amendment rights protecting freedom of speech.

U.S. lawmakers want TikTok to be sold to a company outside of China over concerns that the Chinese government could force ByteDance to hand over data from users located in the United States. If Beijing made the request, ByteDance would not be able to refuse. There have also been suggestions that Chinese authorities could use TikTok to spread political propaganda.

ByteDance has attempted to alleviate these fears by storing data from U.S. users on servers owned by Oracle, but the White House and lawmakers do not believe that is enough. There are a limited number of companies that would be able to afford TikTok, while most tech giants would likely be prevented from acquiring it due to antitrust concerns.Tag: TikTok
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