Home Tech Senate passes bill banning TikTok if parent company doesn’t sell it

Senate passes bill banning TikTok if parent company doesn’t sell it

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'I'm a Singaporean': US senator repeatedly questions TikTok CEO over ties to China – video

The Senate voted Tuesday to pass a bill that would ban TikTok or force the sale of the short-form video app, giving its parent company, China-based ByteDance, up to a year to offload its jewel of the corona before facing removal from US app stores

The vote was overwhelming, with 79 senators voting in favor and 18 against. The bill passed the House on Saturday by a margin of 360 to 58, as part of a foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. It will now land on the desk of Joe Biden, who previously said he would sign the legislation.

The new law gives ByteDance one year to sell TikTok to a US-based company, or the app will face an outright ban on US app stores. TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman, made clear at the time that the company will fight the legislation in court. If the new federal law goes into effect without being blocked, Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store will have to stop offering TikTok for download or face financial penalties.

‘I’m a Singaporean’: US senator repeatedly questions TikTok CEO over ties to China – video

“The moment the bill is signed, we will go to court to file a legal challenge,” Beckerman wrote in the memo, which was first reported by the tech news website. information. Beckerman claimed that the bill violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects freedom of speech.

“We will continue to fight, as this legislation is a clear violation of the first amendment rights of the 170 million Americans on TikTok,” he wrote.

State-level attacks on TikTok have been successfully defeated on similar grounds in the United States. In 2023, a federal judge in Montana blocked the state’s ban on TikTok, saying the ban violated users’ free speech rights. The judge wrote that the law “overwhelms the power of the State and infringes the constitutional rights of users.”

The passage of the ban is the culmination of a years-long political battle over the platform, whose popularity soared after its emergence in 2017. Donald Trump announced he would ban it in 2020, although his efforts to do so were unsuccessful. More recently, he criticized the possibility of a ban and said Biden would be “responsible” for such a move. Lawmakers have argued that TikTok’s China-based parent company could collect sensitive user data and censor content that goes against the Chinese government, claims TikTok denies. Multiple contentious congressional hearings have covered TikTok’s data privacy practices.

Still, these concerns have led to bans on several college campuses, political offices, and individual states. TikTok was banned in India in 2020 after a wave of dangerous “challenges” led to the deaths of some users, and the app is not available in China itself.

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