14th June 2024

The U.S. Home of Representatives overwhelmingly handed a invoice on Wednesday that will give TikTok’s Chinese language proprietor ByteDance about six months to divest the U.S. belongings of the short-video app, or face a nationwide ban. Here’s a have a look at the hassle to ban the app, its possibilities within the U.S. Senate and what that will really imply.

Why are US officers making an attempt to ban TikTok?

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U.S. officers warn TikTok’s administration is beholden to the Chinese language authorities. For instance, China may use the social media app to affect the 2024 U.S. elections, Director of Nationwide Intelligence Avril Haines instructed a Home of Representatives intelligence committee listening to this week.
The Division of Justice lately warned lawmakers that as a result of ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing, TikTok’s American customers are in danger as a result of “overseas governments just like the PRC (China) which might be recognized for his or her surveillance and censorship.”

What does the invoice imply?

In an election 12 months when many politicians don’t need to be seen as delicate on China, the invoice is the most recent in a sequence of strikes responding to nationwide safety issues. Officers in each political events have raised pink flags about TikTok together with different points starting from linked autos to superior synthetic intelligence chips to cranes at U.S. ports.

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On the opposite facet, many youthful voters oppose a ban as a result of they use the app to precise their views and comply with politics. Final month, President Joe Biden’s re-election marketing campaign joined TikTok, elevating hopes amongst firm officers that laws was unlikely this 12 months. Who voted in favor of the ban?

The invoice handed 352-65 in a bipartisan vote, with most Republicans members of Congress voting in favor of it. Mike Gallagher, the Republican chair of the Home of Representatives’ choose China committee and Consultant Raja Krishnamoorthi, the highest Democrat, launched the measure March 5 with greater than a dozen lawmakers.

Numerous distinguished Democrats within the Home voted towards the invoice together with Home Democratic Whip Kathleen Clark, Arizona Senate candidate Ruben Gallego, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in addition to the highest Democrats on the Judiciary, Methods and Means, Transportation and Intelligence committees.

“There are severe antitrust and privateness questions right here, and any nationwide safety issues ought to be laid out to the general public previous to a vote,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned.

Fifteen Republicans and 50 Democrats voted towards the invoice.

How would a ban be enforced?

If handed by the Senate in its present type and signed into legislation by Biden, the invoice would give TikTok’s Chinese language proprietor ByteDance about six months to divest the U.S. belongings of the short-video app.

It’s unclear whether or not China would approve any sale or if TikTok’s U.S. belongings may very well be divested in six months.

If ByteDance failed to take action, app shops operated by Apple, Alphabet’s Google and others couldn’t legally supply TikTok or present hosting providers to ByteDance-controlled functions.

In concept the ban would make it troublesome, if not unimaginable, for customers to entry TikTok within the U.S.

Is TikTok banned in different nations?

India banned TikTok together with dozens of different apps by Chinese language builders in June 2020, saying they may compromise nationwide safety and integrity. Nepal’s authorities banned the app in November 2023.

A number of nations, together with the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand have banned TikTok from federal government-owned units.

What’s subsequent for TikTok within the U.S.?

The TikTok invoice handed by the Home faces a extra unsure path within the Senate the place some favor a special method to regulating foreign-owned apps posing safety issues. Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer mentioned the Senate will overview the laws.

Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell, who will play an essential position within the Senate’s subsequent transfer, mentioned she needs laws “that would maintain up in court docket,” and is contemplating a separate invoice, however isn’t positive what her subsequent step is.

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