The TikTok Tussle: A New Bill Threatens the App’s Existence in the U.S.

A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives could potentially ban the popular social media app TikTok. The bill aims to sever the app's ties with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, due to concerns over national security.
The TikTok Tussle: A New Bill Threatens the App's Existence in the U.S.

In a surprising turn of events, the popular social media app TikTok is once again facing an uncertain future in the U.S. A new bill, introduced in the House of Representatives, aims to force TikTok to sever ties with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or risk being banned in the country.

The bill, named the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, is designed to make it illegal for software with ties to U.S. adversaries to be distributed within the country. This includes TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, a company based in China.

If the bill becomes law, it would be illegal for platforms like Apple’s App Store and Google Play to distribute TikTok in the U.S. Furthermore, the bill would force ByteDance to sell TikTok within six months for the app to continue operating in the U.S.

Despite the lack of public evidence that China has ever tapped into TikTok’s data on Americans, the U.S. government has highlighted the possibility that China could if it wanted to. This has led to a major disconnect between how politicians and most Americans feel about TikTok.

The bill has only cleared a House committee vote so far, but President Biden has signaled his support for the legislation. However, the bill still needs to come to a full vote in the House and faces an unknown fate in the Senate.

TikTok, which has 170 million users in the U.S., is expected to mount a strong legal challenge against the forced sale. The app also holds a direct line to a massive chunk of the American electorate and a fleet of creators who command many millions of loyal followers. These factors could play a significant role in the outcome of this situation.

For more details, you can read the full story on TechCrunch.

Fred Tume

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