US TikTok ban moves one step closer

  • The US House of Representatives passed a bill over the weekend, pushing ahead with the ban or sale of ByteDance-owned social media platform – TikTok.
  • The decision will now head to the Senate, where it previously stalled in March.
  • Should it pass in the Senate, ByteDance would have to divest in TikTok within 12 months.

In a bit of deja vu from a little over one month ago, the US House of Representatives passed a bill on a TikTok ban in the United States. The same feat was achieved only a few weeks ago, but the bill did not make it further than the US Senate.

This time around, as Engadget points out, the bill has been integrated with a foreign aid package, which could mean it has a better chance of being passed when it is expected to reach the Senate later this week.

Under the revised version of the bill, ByteDance would have up to 12 months to divest its ownership in the wildly popular social media platform, or face the ban that many senators have been pushing for. It was previously given six months to do so or officially be removed from US app stores.

With the new bill being passed in the House with a vote of 360 to 58, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer noting that the Senate will likely make a decision on the matter this Tuesday (tomorrow).

“The Senate gavels in on Saturday with a singular goal in mind: to prepare to act when the House sends us a national security supplemental. We hope to reach an agreement very soon on clearing the path for the Senate to take up the supplemental after the House acts,” Schumer noted in a press release.

“We came to a tentative agreement last night, and if the hotline clears this morning, we expect to announce an agreement allowing the next vote to be on Tuesday early afternoon,” he added.

At the time of writing, no concrete evidence has come forth on TikTok being a national security threat over its alleged ties to the Chinese government thanks to its owners ByteDance, but as we have seen in recent days, both the United States and China have continued to take jabs at one another.

The latest has seen a handful of Meta-owned apps being removed from the China Apple App Store.

Should the bill pass the Senate, it will be interesting to see how tensions between the two superpowers will play out, especially with technology companies being caught in the crossfire.

[Image – Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash]


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