Congress moves to ban TikTok in the US

Congress moves to ban TikTok in the US

A bill could ban the platform nationwide if ByteDance, its Chinese parent company, doesn’t agree to sell it.

Photo credit: Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

The US Congress is progressing towards a potential ban on the popular social media platform, TikTok. A significant legislative move occurred on April 23rd when Congress approved a bill threatening to outlaw the platform nationwide if ByteDance, the Chinese parent company, does not agree to sell it.

This pivotal legislation, which has been endorsed by President Joe Biden, is set to receive his signature today, April 24th, affirming the presidential support it has garnered. The bill won the approval of Congress with a substantial majority of 79 votes to 18, just a mere three days after it was cleared from the House of Representatives.

Initial discussions regarding the app’s ban started in March, with lawmakers from both political parties raising concerns over national security threats and potential misuse as a spying tool. Key US political figures have expressed fears that the Chinese government may pressure ByteDance to hand over data from US users. However, TikTok has stated it will not comply with such requests.

If the legislation becomes law, ByteDance will face a nine-month deadline to sell TikTok or risk a complete prohibition in the US. Such a ban would entail its removal from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store nationwide.

ByteDance, however, is reported to be preparing for a legal tussle against the bill, arguing that it infringes on the First Amendment rights of its 170 million US users. The legislation could also face opposition from TikTok’s vast community of content creators, who contribute to making it the sixth-largest social media site globally.

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