HOT Mobile Tech

TikTok Becoming Banned? It might happen!

The U.S. Senate recently approved a comprehensive $95 billion national security package that includes financial assistance for Taiwan, Ukraine, Israel, and Gaza during the war. Hidden within this bill is a provision commonly known as the “TikTok ban.” However, this legislation doesn’t directly ban TikTok; instead, it aims to compel TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, to sell the app. Under this bill, signed by President Joe Biden, ByteDance has nine months to divest from TikTok, with a possible 90-day extension by Biden.

Why is this TikTok legislation part of a national security bill? Lawmakers are concerned that ByteDance may share TikTok user data with the Chinese government, citing a Chinese law requiring companies to share data if it poses a national security risk. Despite limited evidence, TikTok, with over 170 million American users, remains popular in the U.S.

The Senate approved this bipartisan foreign aid package with a 79-18 vote. This effort follows a previous bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. ByteDance plans to challenge this legislation legally. TikTok launched a lobbying campaign, cautioning users about potential restrictions on free speech.

Despite the bill’s passage, TikTok remains accessible to U.S. users for now. The legislation makes it illegal for apps linked to foreign adversaries (like China) to be distributed through platforms such as the Apple App Store. ByteDance has approximately nine months to sell TikTok to a U.S.-based owner. Failure to comply could result in TikTok’s ban for U.S. users.

ByteDance opposes selling TikTok and intends to contest the legislation in court. The penalty for non-compliance is significant—up to $850 billion for ByteDance. TikTok’s legal challenge could affect the timeline, and the extended deadline may be linked to political considerations, including the upcoming election. Despite these developments, TikTok’s future in the U.S. remains uncertain amidst legal and political complexities.