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US House Set to Vote on TikTok Ban 

The US House of Representatives is poised for a crucial vote on Wednesday regarding the fate of TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform. The proposed bill would compel TikTok to sever its ties with its Chinese parent company or face a ban in the United States.

 

This legislation marks the most significant threat yet to TikTok, a platform that has garnered immense popularity worldwide. However, concerns persist among governments and security officials regarding its Chinese ownership and potential alignment with the Communist Party in Beijing.

 

The vote, scheduled for 10:00 am (1400 GMT), is anticipated to pass with overwhelming support, showcasing a rare moment of bipartisan unity in the politically divided landscape of Washington.

 

While the bill’s fate in the Senate remains uncertain, key figures have expressed reservations about taking such drastic measures against a platform boasting 170 million users in the US alone.

 

President Joe Biden has signaled his readiness to sign the bill, officially known as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” into law if it reaches his desk, according to statements from the White House.

 

The legislation, which unanimously passed through committee last week, would mandate TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to divest the app within 180 days or face removal from major app stores in the US. Additionally, it grants the president authority to designate other applications as national security threats if controlled by adversarial countries.

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The resurgence of efforts to curb TikTok has caught the company off guard, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. TikTok executives were reassured when President Biden joined the platform last month as part of his reelection campaign.

 

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is actively lobbying in Washington to garner support against the bill.

 

However, concerns about the legislation’s speed and lack of public hearings have been raised. Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s vice president for public policy, highlighted constitutional concerns in a letter addressed to the bill’s co-sponsors.

 

While the co-sponsors and the White House argue that the bill is not a ban on TikTok, but rather a requirement for divestment from ByteDance, China has issued a stern warning, cautioning that such actions will have repercussions for the United States.

 

Despite assertions from the former president, Donald Trump, that he opposes a ban on TikTok, citing concerns about strengthening Meta, owner of Instagram and Facebook, efforts to restrict the platform have persisted.

 

TikTok has consistently denied any ties to the Chinese government and claims to have restructured the company to ensure that the data of US users remains within the country.

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