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US House Passes Bill that Could Ban TikTok Nationwide

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that could lead to a nationwide ban on TikTok.

The ban would require the Chinese tech giant ByteDance to sell its stake in the app within six months or face a ban from US app stores and web hosting platforms.

It follows previous efforts by American authorities to limit access to the app, citing national security risks.

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The bill’s fate in the Senate is unclear, but President Joe Biden says he will sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.

Lawmakers say TikTok’s owner ByteDance has links with the Chinese Communist Party – something denied by ByteDance and TikTok.

Former President Donald Trump unsuccessfully tried to ban the app when he was in the White House in 2020.

But Trump has criticised the new bill, saying limiting TikTok would unfairly benefit Facebook.

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Mixed reaction across US as TikTok bill passes the House

The US Senate Committee on Intelligence has reacted to news that a bill which could see a potential TikTok ban has passed the House.

“[We] look forward to getting the TikTok bill passed through the Senate and signed into law,” the statement says, as reported by Reuters news agency.

Some Senators expressed their disagreement with the bill before the House vote, making its future in the upper chamber uncertain.

Reactions on social media have been mixed. Memes floated on X (formerly Twitter), show people who are pretending to represent Facebook, Instagram and Twitter celebrating the news. This echoes the sentiment expressed by Republicans like Donald Trump who fear TikTok’s ban will empower Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.

Several lawmakers that supported the bill sought to clear the air on X, telling their followers that the bill does not ban TikTok but seeks to “remove its influence” from the Chinese Communist Party, as Representative Abigail Spanberger put it.

How would a ban work?

The most likely route for enforcing a government ban would be to order app stores, such as those operated by Apple and Google, to remove TikTok from their platforms.

That would mean people could no longer download the app that way, but those who already have the app would still have it on their phones.

Over time, the app would stop receiving updates, which could cause issues for users.

SourceBBC

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