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Will TikTok Be Banned? Here’s What You Need To Know

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that could ban TikTok. President Joe Biden said he’ll sign the bill if Congress passes it, so now it’s up to the Senate, but could TikTok be banned from the U.S.?

The bill does not automatically ban TikTok from the country, rather it urges the app to separate from its Chinese parent Company, ByteDance. This means that TikTok would have to be sold in six months. If ByteDance chooses not to divest its stakes, it would be banned from the U.S.

But selling TikTok in a few months isn’t an easy task. There simply aren’t enough people or companies that could buy the giant, and the obvious giants would likely face scrutiny from antitrust regulators in both the U.S. and China.

“Who’s going to buy it? That’s the real question,” Gene Kimmelman, a former Justice Department antitrust official told CNN. “If it’s Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Meta, I just think you’re going to see substantial antitrust concern.”

Bloomberg reported that TikTok will exhaust all legal challenges before considering a forced sale.

But the bill still needs to pass in the Senate, which is no easy task, as it has no co-sponsor in the upper chamber. However, some senators have indicated that they would support the bill.

According to the Associated Press, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner announced that he will work to “get this bill passed through the Senate and signed into law.”

Some Republicans have expressed that TikTok works under the Chinese Communist Party, although the U.S. government has never provided evidence to support these claims

Senate Democrats haven’t taken a strong position. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he’ll consult with committee chairs to determine the bill’s path. Meanwhile, Sen. Maria Cantwell is working on a proposal that could apply to foreign companies beyond TikTok and would allow them to operate in the U.S., but the government would still be able to protect its citizens’ data.

It is also unclear whether most Democrats will support the bill, as TikTok represents a huge opportunity to reach young voters, a strategy that Biden himself has been pursuing ahead of the 2024 U.S. elections.

So far, TikTok’s fate has not been decided, as the bill still faces an uncertain future in the Senate before going to Biden’s desk.

Written by RA News staff.


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