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House votes in favor of bill that could ban TikTok, sending it onward to Senate

TechnologyHouse votes in favor of bill that could ban TikTok, sending it onward to Senate

The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Saturday that could either see TikTok banned in the country or force its sale. A revised version of the bill, which previously passed the House in March but later stalled in Senate, was roped in with a foreign aid package this time around, likely meaning it will now be treated as a higher priority item. The bill originally gave TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, six months to sell the app if it’s passed into law or TikTok would be banned from US app stores. Under the revised version, ByteDance would have up to a year to divest.

The bill passed with a vote of 360-58 in the House, according to AP. It’ll now move on to the Senate, which could vote on it in just a matter of days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said today that the Senate is working to reach an agreement on when the next vote will be for the foreign aid package that the TikTok bill is attached to, but it is expected to happen this coming Tuesday. President Joe Biden has previously said he would support the bill if Congress passes it.

The bill paints TikTok as a national security threat due to its ties to China. There are roughly 170 million US users on the app, at least according to TikTok, and ByteDance isn’t expected to let them go without a fight. In a statement posted on X earlier this week, the TikTok Policy account said such a law would “trample the free speech rights” of these users, “devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the U.S. economy, annually.” Critics of the bill have also argued that banning TikTok would do little in the way of actually protecting Americans’ data.

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