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President Biden signs bill that could ban TikTok

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President Biden signs bill that could ban TikTok

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a bill that could ban TikTok from operating in the United States starting next year.

After years of trying, the House and Senate managed to pass a measure that would force TikTok to divest from Bytedance, its Chinese owner, within a year, or face a nationwide ban. The bill was part of a broader foreign aid package that provided assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, making it difficult for some lawmakers to vote against it. Aid to Ukraine has been a key part of Biden’s agenda since Russia invaded in 2022, and last week publicly endorsed the aid package.

Notably, Biden’s statement Tuesday night in response to the Senate vote did not mention TikTok at all, instead choosing to highlight the $95 billion in foreign aid included in the bill.

“Congress passed my legislation to strengthen our national security and send a message to the world about the power of American leadership: We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression,” Biden said.

“This unconstitutional law is a ban on TikTok and we will challenge it in court. We believe 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 maintain the “U.S. data secure and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “This ban would devastate 7 million businesses and silence 170 million Americans. “We will continue to invest and innovate to ensure that TikTok remains a space where Americans from all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy and be inspired.”

The company’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, posted a TikTok on Wednesday calling the bill a ban.

“Congress passed a bill that the president signed into law that is designed to ban TikTok in the United States,” Chew said. “Make no mistake, this is a ban. A ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice.”

The Chinese government has previously indicated that it would not approve a sale and has imposed export controls on the company’s algorithm.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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