Posted on

US Senate passes bill that could see TikTok app banned in America

POLAND – 2024/03/23: In this photo illustration a TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone with an USA flag on the background. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill looking to remove TikTok from app stores nationwide. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The US Senate has approved a controversial landmark bill that could see social media platform, TikTok banned in America. The US Senate has approved a controversial landmark bill that would force TikTok‚Äôs China-based parent company to sell the social media platform under the threat of a ban. The TikTok legislation was included as part of a larger $95 billion package that provides foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel and was passed 79-18. It now goes to President Joe Biden, who has backed the TikTok proposal and has said he will sign it into law as soon as it reaches his desk. It gives TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, nine months to sell its stake or the app will be blocked in the United States.The measure was passed as part of a package of four bills which also included military aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other US partners in the Indo-Pacific region. It had widespread support from lawmakers, with 79 Senators voting for it and 18 against. “For years we’ve allowed the Chinese Communist party to control one of the most popular apps in America that was dangerously short-sighted,” said Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee. “A new law is going to require its Chinese owner to sell the app. This is a good move for America,” he added. Fears that data about millions of Americans could land in China’s hands have driven Congressional efforts to split TikTok from the Beijing-based company. Last week, the social media company said the bill would “trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate seven million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the US economy, annually.” TikTok has said ByteDance “is not an agent of China or any other country”. And ByteDance insists it is not a Chinese firm, pointing to the global investment firms that own 60% of it. Its chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, said last month the company will continue to do all it can including exercising its “legal rights” to protect the platform. Mr Shou was grilled by Congress twice in less than a year and downplayed the app’s connection and his personal links – to Chinese authorities.

Write a comment