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US House passes revised bill to ban TikTok or force sale | Times Catalog

US House Approves TikTok Ban or Forced Sale in Revised Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives decisively passed legislation that could force TikTok owner ByteDance to sell the popular social media app or face an outright ban in the United States.

Efforts to restrict or ban TikTok date back to the Trump administration but have gained renewed momentum in recent months. A similar House bill passed in March but stalled in the Senate. This revised version extends the window for ByteDance to sell TikTok to nine months (from six months previously) and allows the president to grant a one-time, 90-day extension.

This change appears to have won over some skeptical Senators. Senate Commerce chair Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) indicated her support, stating the extension “assures that divestiture will more likely happen.”

The new bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support (360-58). Its inclusion within a larger foreign aid package was likely a strategic move by House Speaker Mike Johnson to secure conservative backing.

The Senate could approve the package as early as next week. President Joe Biden has endorsed the bill, signaling it will become law. In that case, TikTok is expected to mount a legal challenge.

The Biden administration cites national security concerns, alleging the app collects vast amounts of American user data for the Chinese government and could be used to disseminate propaganda. House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) went further, branding the app “a spy balloon in Americans’ phones.”

In response, TikTok issued a statement earlier this week, arguing the House is using vital foreign aid “to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform.”

Source: TechCrunch

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