Home TikTok could still be banned in the US

TikTok could still be banned in the US


  • TikTok faces US ban unless ByteDance divests majority control.
  • Revised legislation extends sale period from 6 to 12 months.
  • Bipartisan support in Congress, but opposition cites First Amendment concerns.

TikTok is still on the brink of being banned in the United States after House Republicans included the proposed legislation in a package of bills which would secure foreign aid for Israel and Ukraine.

The threat from US lawmakers to ban the Chinese-owned video-sharing app unless owners ByteDance divest majority control of the company, elsewhere.

Back in March, the TikTok legislation passed the House and it has significant support in both chambers, whilst President Biden has indicated he will approve it if the bill lands on his desk. The latest development sees this action included in a House package as Representatives strive to secure votes for foreign aid agreements following further negotiations with the Senate on how long ByteDance would have to sell TikTok to prevent it from being banned in the States.

Revised legislation has increased the sale period from six months to a year, earning a notable endorsement from Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell.

Originally, a six-month deadline was proposed for the sale of the company to be completed but that has been changed to nine with a three-month extension to be granted as long as a deal is in progress.

No evidence presented against Chinese-owned TikTok

It is unusual for both Democrat and Republican parties to unite so strongly against a particular company in support of a bill, so it would be a landmark moment if Congress passes the TikTok legislation. The situation reflects the unease on Capitol Hill, where there is significant bipartisan concern over the Chinese threat to the US.

However, there is opposition to the plans to impose an outright ban on TikTok with challengers citing the First Amendment, insisting the prohibition of the app would be unconstitutional.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul believes this course of action would set a dangerous precedent, “The passage of the House TikTok ban is not just a misguided overreach; it’s a draconian measure that stifles free expression, tramples constitutional rights, and disrupts the economic pursuits of millions of Americans,” he said.

Political opposition has augmented a fierce defense from TikTok as it works to maintain its strong market presence in America. Since March, the company is said to have spent $5 million on TV adverts in opposition to the bill. The ads have featured various content creators in support of TikTok and how it improves their lives including the reliance on the app for their income.

To date, the US government has not provided any evidence to show TikTok sharing US user data with the Beijing administration or to outline how the Chinese government has influenced the company’s algorithm to influence what is seen by the app’s vast user base in the US.

Image credit: Ideogram

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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