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TikTok says it will fight US ban or forced sale after bill passes

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TikTok says it will fight US ban or forced sale after bill passes

TikTok has said it will fight any ban or forced sale of the app’s US operation in court, after the House of Representatives passed legislation targeting the viral video platform.

The company’s future in the United States was left in doubt over the weekend after lawmakers in Washington passed a bill that will ban the app if TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not sell its stake in the US business.

The House approved the legislation on Saturday by a margin of 360 to 58, as part of a foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The TikTok bill will move to the Senate, where it could be voted on this week. Joe Biden has previously said he would support the legislation.

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TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman, told staff in a memo after the vote that the bill was unconstitutional and that TikTok would fight it in court.

“The moment the bill is signed, we will go to court to file a legal challenge,” he 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.

The first amendment argument has already been used to benefit TikTok in the United States. Last year, a Montana district judge blocked the state’s ban on the use of TikTok, saying it violated users’ free speech rights. Donald Molloy ruled that the ban “oversteps the power of the State and infringes the constitutional rights of users.”

TikTok is under pressure from US lawmakers and other Western politicians, including the UK, over fears the Chinese government could access its data on users. TikTok denies that Beijing authorities have demanded access to user data and says it would refuse if asked. However, critics of TikTok say ByteDance would be forced under Chinese security laws to share data with security services if asked to do so.

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TikTok has been contacted for comment.

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