US Senate passes laws threatening TikTok ban

A TikTok ban for its 170 million American users could be on the way, after new laws passed the U.S. Senate this week.
TikTok ban

The US Senate passed laws on Tuesday evening that will force TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell the app or face a nationwide ban.

The Senate passed the legislation with support from both Republicans and Democrats, after it passed the House of Representatives earlier this week.

President Joe Biden said: ”I will sign this bill into law… as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow.”

TikTok in the U.S.

About 170 million Americans use TikTok — roughly half the country’s population.

The U.S. Government has consistently aired concerns about the sharing of data between TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, and the Chinese Government.

Former President Donald Trump attempted to force ByteDance to sell TikTok in 2020, though this plan was blocked by the courts.

TikTok has said it’s never shared US user data with the Chinese Government, or been asked to share data.

TikTok ban

The bill will ban social and digital media apps operated “directly or indirectly” by TikTok, ByteDance, or any other “foreign adversary”.

It will force ByteDance to sell to a company outside of China. The sale would likely relate to just TikTok’s US operations.

The laws are expected to face legal challenges by TikTok, and sour the US relationship with China.

TikTok response

TikTok US called the legislation “unconstitutional”, and said it would be challenging the ban in court, claiming “the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail”.

“The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep the US data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation.”

TikTok projects the ban will “devastate” seven million businesses, and “silence” the Americans on the platform.

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