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US Congress set to vote on bill forcing ByteDance to divest TikTok

US Congress set to vote on bill forcing ByteDance to divest TikTok
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 18, 2024 6:29 PM

U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that could force TikTok to sever ties with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or risk being barred nationwide

The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing for a critical vote on a measure on Saturday that may force TikTok, the hugely popular social media platform, to cut links with its Chinese parent business, ByteDance, or face being prohibited nationwide.

The legislative drive may be easier to pass through the corridors of Congress since it is part of a larger $61 billion aid package designated for Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine.

If the measure passes, ByteDance will have to remove TikTok from major American app stores run by tech giants Apple and Google in a matter of months. If this doesn’t happen, the app will be removed.

Additionally, the bill would grant the President of the United States the authority to designate additional applications as possible hazards to national security, especially if antagonistic countries control them.

While supporters contend that such actions are necessary to protect national interests, TikTok has strongly objected to the proposal, claiming that it will severely damage the US economy and violate millions of people’s right to free expression.

A corporation representative bemoaned the potential consequences of the planned ban, saying, “It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill.”

According to TikTok, a ban would have devastating effects on millions of companies, over 170 million users, and an ecosystem that contributes an astounding $24 billion to the US economy each year.

Western leaders’ worries over TikTok’s survival have heightened the discourse surrounding the site because of its enormous appeal among youth demographics. The firm and Chinese officials have vigorously denied claims that TikTok serves as a platform for propaganda from Beijing.

Concerns over TikTok’s activities were reiterated during President Joe Biden’s recent phone discussion with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, highlighting how seriously lawmakers are taking the platform’s effect.

Remarkably, a measure like this one intended to control TikTok had already been approved by the House of Representatives, but it was blocked from moving further when it got to the Senate floor.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:42 PM