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TikTok Ban in the US? House Passes New Legislation

Tiktok

The US House of Representatives has moved closer to banning TikTok in the US by passing a new bill. This decision was part of a larger aid package that included support for Israel and Ukraine. The bill, which passed with a vote of 360-58, is a setback for TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and has 170 million users in the US. The bill says TikTok could be removed from US app stores unless it is sold to a new owner soon. This is similar to a previous bill passed in March.


The U.S. House of Representatives has taken a significant step toward potentially banning TikTok by including a bill targeting the app in a broader aid package that also supports Ukraine and Israel. The package requires Senate approval and President Joe Biden has indicated he would sign the TikTok legislation. This bill gives TikTok 270 days to find a new owner, which is an extension from the previously considered six months, and it allows for a further 90-day extension if there is progress in the sale process.


TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and has 170 million users in the U.S., has strongly opposed the bill. The company argues that the legislation infringes on free speech rights, harms small businesses, and negatively impacts the U.S. economy by potentially shutting down a platform that contributes $24 billion annually. TikTok has been actively lobbying against the bill and has even hinted at the possibility of suing to prevent the legislation from being enforced, setting up a likely court battle over the rights of Americans to access digital information.


Senate lawmakers have been debating the House's proposal to force TikTok to be sold, but they've become more agreeable since a longer deadline was included in the latest draft of the bill. As the House voted on the bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stressed the importance of passing the related foreign aid package. Schumer announced that the Senate is set to discuss the aid package, which includes the TikTok bill, on Tuesday.


Paul Gallant, a policy analyst at Cowen Inc., believes there is a strong chance that the TikTok bill will pass in the Senate, estimating the odds at 80%. According to Gallant, it's unlikely that TikTok will be separated from the larger aid package, and the Senate may act on this legislation within the next one to two weeks. Senate leaders have even suggested that it could be passed sooner. This movement in the Senate suggests a high likelihood that the legislation requiring TikTok to find a new owner will go forward.


FAQs

Q1. What is the TikTok bill?

The TikTok bill is legislation that aims to force TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, to be sold to a new owner or face a ban in the United States.


Q2. Why does the U.S. government want to force TikTok to be sold?

The U.S. government is concerned that TikTok poses a national security risk due to its ties to China, fearing that user data could be accessed by the Chinese government.


Q3. What does the new deadline in the TikTok bill mean?

The new deadline extends the time TikTok has to find a new owner to 270 days, with a possible additional 90 days if progress is being made toward a sale.


Q4. What is the significance of attaching the TikTok bill to the foreign aid package?

By attaching the TikTok bill to the foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel, lawmakers increase the pressure to pass it since rejecting the package could also affect the aid components.

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