Will TikTok get banned in the US?

By:
on Mar 14, 2024
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  • The US House of Representatives has taken a decisive step towards potentially banning TikTok.
  • US legislators fear Chinese access to US user data and influence on TikTok's algorithm, prompting the move.
  • ByteDance has consistently denied allegations of sharing user data with the Chinese government.

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The US House of Representatives has taken a decisive step towards potentially banning TikTok, passing a bill with an overwhelming majority that could force the app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to divest its US operations or face expulsion from American app stores.

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The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act received bipartisan support, passing with 352 votes in favor and only 65 against.

US’ concerns over Chinese influence

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The move reflects deepening concerns among US legislators about the possibility of the Chinese government accessing American user data and exerting influence through TikTok’s algorithm.

Despite the app’s immense popularity, with 170 million users in the US, the White House has echoed these concerns, with President Joe Biden indicating his willingness to sign the bill into law.

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However, the bill’s journey is far from over, as it now faces scrutiny in the US Senate.

The legislative path forward is complicated by differing opinions among senators and competition from alternative proposals aiming to address the risks associated with foreign-controlled apps.

What does TikTok say?

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ByteDance has consistently denied allegations of sharing user data with the Chinese government, asserting its status as a private entity.

The broader context of US-China relations and Beijing’s history of regulatory control over its tech sector have fueled bipartisan support for the bill.

This legislation could also impact other Chinese-owned apps, highlighting the growing concern over data privacy and national security in the digital age.

How does a Bill become a law?

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While the House bill has gained momentum, it faces potential roadblocks in the Senate, where opinions on the best approach to tackle foreign tech threats vary.

The legislative outcome could be further complicated by the upcoming 2024 election year, making the bill’s passage uncertain.

The debate over TikTok’s future in the US does not align neatly along party lines, with some Republicans opposing the bill on constitutional grounds while others, including former President Donald Trump, have shifted their stance on the issue.

The federal government and several states have already taken steps to restrict TikTok’s use, underscoring the widespread concern over the app’s operations.

What does China say?

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Internationally, the debate over TikTok underscores the broader struggle for digital dominance and the ability to shape global narratives.

Beijing has signaled its intention to protect the interests of Chinese companies abroad, challenging the US efforts to restrict TikTok’s operations.

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