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House Passes Legislation That Will Ban TikTok If It’s Not Sold to US Owners

The U.S. House of Representatives has made a significant move that could spell a drastic change for TikTok’s operations in the United States. 

A new piece of legislation was advanced which mandates that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, must find American buyers within a year or see the app banned in the U.S.

Originally, ByteDance was given a six-month deadline to sell TikTok. 

However, this timeline has been extended to about a year in the final version of the bill. 

The legislation was part of a strategic move by House Speaker Mike Johnson, who attached it to a broader bill including measures such as the ability for the U.S. to seize Russian assets.

The TikTok bill was integrated into a larger package that also contains aid for Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine. 

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Credits: DepositPhotos – Kyiv, Ukraine – October 1, 2019: Studio shot of hand holding Apple iPhone 8 with TikTok logotype on a screen. Isolated on a vibrant cyan paper background. — Photo by bloomua

This package had been stalled due to congressional disputes but is now poised to move swiftly through legislative processes.

The package will now go to the Senate for approval. 

After passing the House, it is expected that the bill will easily get approval in the Senate.

The $95.3 billion aid package that was approved did not contain the clause for ban or sale of TikTok.

The key concern with the app is that ByteDance might be sharing user data of Americans to the Chinese government.

With an estimated 170 million users of TikTok in the U.S., these concerns are growing stronger every day.

The initiative to ban TikTok is not new. 

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Credit: DepositPhotos – NEW YORK, USA – Sep 21, 2017: Meeting of the President of the United States Donald Trump with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in New York

Near the end of his administration, former President Donald Trump attempted to ban the app on the grounds that it posed a risk to national security. 

His position has since shifted, critiquing the move as potentially beneficial to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, which he opposes.

President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign the bill into law should it successfully pass through the Senate. 

The approach aims for a forced sale rather than an outright ban, providing a possible lifeline for TikTok under American ownership.

TikTok and ByteDance are preparing for a legal challenge against the bill, should it become law. 

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Credits: DepositPhotos

The legislation’s implications have prompted them to gear up for a significant court fight, with potential support from TikTok users and creators who oppose the ban.

The potential ban could significantly alter the digital and social media landscape in the U.S. 

“This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States,” a ByteDance spokesperson said last month.

TikTok has become a major player in the industry, and its removal could shift market dynamics, affecting creators and consumers alike.

As the bill moves to the Senate, the future of TikTok in the U.S. hangs in the balance.

 The outcome will likely have far-reaching effects not only on ByteDance and its prized app but also on the broader social media ecosystem and U.S.-China relations in the tech sector.