TikTok Soon to be Banned in the US

A bill was passed by the House on Saturday, April 20 to ban TikTok in the US. The ongoing controversy has been stretching since March 2024, however, this time, one thing is different.

Once again, we’re hearing another story of TikTok being at high risk of getting banned in the US if its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, doesn’t comply and sell its stake to the US, following the House of Representatives vote in support of the measure.

Within the bill, the TikTok legislation includes a US foreign policy package, with representatives agreeing to allocate $60.8 billion (£49 billion) in foreign aid to Ukraine, as well as funds for Israel and Taiwan. 

The legislation now heads to the US Senate, which is highly likely to be approved by Tuesday, April 23. President Joe Biden intends to endorse the TikTok bill upon receipt, and should the bill goes into effect, the proprietor of the widely used video-sharing platform will be allotted nine months to secure a buyer, with a potential three-month extension during the sales process, or else face prohibition.

Some Background

A prior bill approved by the House in the preceding month gave the Chinese company a six-month window for ByteDance, the parent company, to carry out the sale. It’s anticipated that the company will initiate a legal move against the legislation, contending that it infringes upon the First Amendment rights of the app’s millions of users, under the pretense of safeguarding their freedom of expression.

As for the court, several concerns arise, that were set out and potentially leading to challenges in the timeline given by the US congress or allow for a law blockade instead of coming into effect.

In a statement, TikTok stated: “It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate seven million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24bn (£19bn) to the US economy, annually.”

TikTok Chief Executive, Shou Zi Chew, made the effort to address US users in a direct manner to stop the bill by doing a campaign.

“We will not stop fighting and advocating for you,” Shou Zi Chew said in a video on the platform last month that was directed at the app’s users. “We will continue to do all we can, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this amazing platform that we have built with you,” he added.

All the Major Concerns

TikTok has been warned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that the application could be sharing user data, including biometrics, location, and browsing history, with the Chinese government. In response, TikTok refuted such allegations, stating that such activities never occurred.

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