TikTok Ban: All you need to know about TikTok ban in US

TikTok Ban: All you need to know about TikTok ban in US

TikTok Ban: All you need to know about TikTok ban in US

 The House voted overwhelmingly to approve a measure that would ban TikTok from operating in the United States or force a sale, posing the most serious threat yet to the popular short-form video platform.

The bill passed the House 352 to 65 with one member voting present, showing wide bipartisan support with backing from House Speaker Mike Johnson and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It now heads to the Senate where its fate is more uncertain.

At issue is TikTok’s Chinese ownership. U.S. officials say parent company ByteDance could hand over the personal information of the 170 million Americans who use the popular short-video app to Beijing. The bill’s opponents have raised free speech concerns. They also say that TikTok has taken steps to safeguard the data of Americans by storing it on U.S. servers.

TikTok, which has 170 million users in the U.S., says it has not been asked for that data and would not share it if it were. The concern is that, if ordered by Chinese authorities, ByteDance would have to hand it over.

Did the House pass the bill to ban TikTok? What does divest mean?

The legislation calls for ByteDance to divest or sell TikTok or TikTok will be banned from app stores and web-hosting services in the U.S. ByteDance would have 165 days to comply.

TikTok says the bill would give it a narrow timeline to find a buyer with the resources to buy TikTok and to overcome the technical challenges involved in spinning it off.

Previous efforts to rein in TikTok have failed. In 2020, Donald Trump tried to ban the app by executive order but courts blocked that effort. Since then, Trump has flipped his position on TikTok.

Americans are split. A recent poll from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 31% of U.S. adults would favor a nationwide ban on TikTok use while 35% would oppose a TikTok ban. But among those who use TikTok daily, a national ban is unpopular with 73% saying they would oppose it.

What does TikTok say?

TikTok says lawmakers are trying to shut down TikTok in the U.S.

“This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason: it's a ban,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”

TikTok has pushed back with a vigorous lobbying campaign, including push alerts urging creators to call members of Congress. That part of the campaign mostly backfired. TikTok also dispatched creators and its CEO Shou Zi Chew to Capitol Hill who says the platform has kept users' information safe from outside manipulation.

"This legislation, if signed into law, will lead to a ban of TikTok in the United States," he warned in a video shared on social media platform X on Wednesday.

Will the TikTok ban legislation pass in the Senate?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has declined to say if he would bring it to a vote. President Biden has said he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

Will TikTok get banned?

Even if the Senate passes the measure, a long fight lies ahead.

TikTok says it will exercise its legal rights before it considers a sale of its US operations. The platform has successfully challenged similar moves in the courts.

A sale seems unlikely for a couple reasons. Companies large enough to buy TikTok like Meta, Google and Microsoft would probably not attempt to do so because of the Biden administration’s aggressive use of antitrust law to prevent the tech giants from getting even larger. What’s more, divestiture would require Beijing’s approval. Last year, the Chinese government said it opposed a forced sale.

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