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US Passes Bill That Could Lead to TikTok Ban

US Passes Bill That Could Lead to TikTok Ban

Sarah Hardacre March 28, 2024
March 28, 2024
The US House of Representatives has passed a vote that could be a first step toward banning TikTok in the US and removing access for its current 170 million US-based users.

The bill received bipartisan support, with an overall vote of 352 to 65 to move the legislation forward. Due to Chinese technology company ByteDance owning TikTok, US legislators worry about security threats. Chinese law could force TikTok to share data from US users.

The bill essentially gives TikTok two options: face a ban in the US or separate from its parent company. Should the bill become law, TikTok will have five months to find new owners before app stores in the US would have to remove TikTok from their offering.

The next step is for the bill to go before the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate “will review the legislation when it comes over from the House” without committing to a timeline. President Biden has already said he would sign the bill into law should it make it to the White House.

The Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, released a joint statement. “We are united in our concern about the national security threat posed by TikTok – a platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans whose parent company ByteDance remains legally required to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party.”

There are a few representatives that don’t support the bill. Representative Tom McClintock, a Republican from California, believes the choice should remain in the hands of American users. “The answer to authoritarianism is not more authoritarianism.”

TikTok is, of course, opposed to the bill. “We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service,” a TikTok representative said.

Beijing has also responded negatively to the legislation, with Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, stating that “the bill passed by the US House of Representatives puts the US on the opposite side of the principle of fair competition and international economic and trade rules.”

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