Tik Tok

US President Joe Biden has signed a bill into law that forces ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, to sell its ownership of the app within the next nine months or face a ban.

The deadline can be extended by three months if necessary, on the condition that TikTok is sold to a US company within a year. The bill received significant support in the US Senate and was included with foreign aid for key US allies.

Reasoning behind the decision

Concerns have grown about TikTok's potential influence on US elections and national security.

Some states had already begun banning TikTok on government devices, citing fears that user data could be shared with Beijing or that the app could be used for propaganda and espionage.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the potential manipulation of TikTok by the Chinese government through ByteDance.

Legislative action and support to the Senate

The bipartisan bill gives ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok to a US company, with a possible three-month extension.

It prohibits ByteDance from controlling TikTok's core technology, which tailors content to user interests, particularly appealing to younger audiences.

The bill's passage in the Senate was facilitated by strategic political moves in the House, which pressured the Senate to address the TikTok issue sooner and extended the deadline for a possible deal.

Data security concerns

Lawmakers and intelligence officials are concerned that TikTok's ownership by a Chinese company could put the data of its American users at risk. Chinese national security laws could force companies like ByteDance to hand over inside information.

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Despite TikTok's claim that it does not store US data in China, concerns remain about the Chinese government's potential influence over content on the platform.

Statements of the Senate

During Senate debates, Senator Maria Cantwell emphasized the bill's goal of safeguarding against foreign espionage and harm to Americans.

Senator Mark Warner highlighted the risks posed by foreign control of TikTok and expressed understanding of the concerns of young users who fear losing the platform. He said the legislation is aimed at protecting national security rather than suppressing voices, he reported The Verge.

TikTok's response

TikTok has condemned the law as unconstitutional and plans to challenge it in court. The company argues that it has invested significantly in data security and preventing external influences on its platform.

The ban would affect millions of businesses and silence millions of Americans who use TikTok as a platform for expression and inspiration.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew assured users that the platform will not go away and expressed confidence in prevailing against the ban in court.

He criticized the law as an attack on American voices and emphasized TikTok's contributions to the American economy.

Future developments

TikTok's legal battle against the ban is expected to continue, with the company aiming to prevent its implementation.

As the situation unfolds, further developments are expected regarding the fate of TikTok in the United States.

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