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US House passes bill to force TikTok ban unless ByteDance sells it

The biggest threat to TikTok since the Trump administration, the U.S. House of Representatives easily backed a bill on Wednesday that would allow the Chinese company that owns the app, ByteDance, roughly six months to sell up the U.S. assets of the short-video app or risk being banned.

US House passes bill to force TikTok ban unless ByteDance sells it details

If the social media site, which is used by about 170 million Americans, doesn’t split off from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, the measure would ban TikTok from US app stores. What the bill’s fate in the Senate will be is yet unknown. Fifty Democrats and fifteen Republicans voted against the bill, which passed the House 352 to 65.

A month ago, the Biden reelection campaign joined TikTok, but in the event that the bill passes, President Joe Biden has declared he will sign it into law.

TikTok is the global equivalent of the Chinese social network Douyin. All of the major US firms expressed interest in acquiring TikTok’s activities back in 2020, including Microsoft. Chinese authorities were against the transaction, though.

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TikTok ban

There are still many legal snags to be resolved, so this is far from over. For instance, the state of Montana outlawed TikTok last year; however, a federal judge quickly reversed the ban (and this wasn’t even the first time a prohibition was overturned). Naturally, a different strategy will be pushed by Chinese officials and ByteDance.

TikTok is a huge app; it was the first to achieve $10 billion in in-app spending last year, and it topped 1 billion monthly users back in 2021. Depending on how the legal matter turns out, there is a lot of money to be gained or lost.

Additionally opposed to the ban are a number of US groups. Additionally opposed to it, and having written to the House of Energy and Commerce Committee on the subject, are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy, and the Fight for the Future group. Even so, the ACLU and EFF submitted a brief in favor of lifting the Montana prohibition.

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