Friday, May 24 2024

Bill banning TikTok in US approved by an overwhelming majority

tiktok USA

By an overwhelming majority of 360 votes to 58, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would ban TikTok in the United States unless the Chinese parent company sells the U.S. rights to a U.S.-based company within a year.

HDN Newsroom

About 150 million Americans are on TikTok, and there are growing fears among lawmakers about the influence its Chinese owners have gained. Lawmakers have raised national security and data privacy concerns with TikTok. Proponents of the social media app have questioned the constitutionality of restricting Americans' rights to free speech.

In recent months, TikTok has made headlines for promoting Osama bin Laden as well as criminally inciting young users to choke each other!

Wall Street has been alarmed about who could buy TikTok in the event of a forced sale of the shares by Chinese owner ByteDance. Microsoft, Meta, Apple and Oracle have been identified as potential suitors. Rumble, a free-speech YouTube-driven competitor has also been discussed as a potential buyer.

One obstacle is the large scale of the market. Social media company TikTok was previously valued at up to $50 billion!

The bill to ban TikTok in the US passed with 360 votes in favor and 58 against.

The ban passed alongside a vote on a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and has received relatively little attention.

Inside the 184-page sanctions bill is a provision forcing TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell its stake in the popular video platform to a U.S.-based company within a year or face a ban. Specifically, it gives ByteDance nine months to cede TikTok's U.S. rights to an American company and gives the president the option to opt for a three-month extension.

In March the House had passed a similar bill on TikTok, which passed with a large bipartisan majority. That effort, however, has stalled in the Democratic Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has so far refused to bring the measure to a vote. The Senate leader said he would eventually address the issue.

Schumer has previously strongly supported efforts to limit TikTok's influence.

Before the bill was passed, TikTok issued a statement saying it violated free speech rights, and the company's CEO had called on U.S. users to immediately campaign to stop the bill