TikTok Closes to Potential Ban in US as House of Representatives Passes Bill Requiring Sale

Julie Clover

The US House of Representatives today approved legislation that would force TikTok owner ByteDance to sell the social network or face a ban in the United States. The Protecting Americans from Controlled Applications by Foreign Adversaries Act will now head to the Senate, where its fate is unclear.

USA. Lawmakers want TikTok to be sold to a company outside China over concerns that the Chinese government could force ByteDance to hand over data from users in the United States. If China made a request, ByteDance would not be able to refuse. There has also been speculation that China could use TikTok to spread political propaganda.

ByteDance has tried to allay those concerns by storing U.S. user data on servers owned by Oracle, but the White House and lawmakers aren't buying it. that's enough.

If passed, the bill would require ByteDance to sell TikTok within six months to a company approved by the US government. If ByteDance doesn't sell the company, US app stores won't be able to distribute the app without breaking the law, effectively leading to a ban. China will also need to approve the sale, and the Chinese government made clear last year that it would “firmly oppose” a forced sale.

There are a limited number of companies with sufficient capital to be able to carry out the sale. afford TikTok, while obvious options like Google or Meta would likely be barred from acquiring it due to antitrust concerns.

If the bill passes the Senate, US President Joe Biden has confirmed he will do so . sign it into law. A number of senators have expressed concerns about the language of the bill, and it does not currently have universal support.

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