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TikTok Faces Ban in the US

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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TikTok, the well-known short video platform owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance, is encountering a major problem in the US market.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024, with support from both parties that might result in banning the app owned by a Chinese company.

National Security Concerns Fuel Legislation

The new law, named the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” requires ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell its shares in the US part of the app in six months.

If they don’t do this, TikTok might not be available in US app stores and could be stopped from working in the country.

This extreme action is a result of ongoing worries expressed by US lawmakers about the possible risks to national security linked to TikTok.

Concerns about Data Security: Lawmakers are worried that the Chinese government, through ByteDance’s connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), could access user data from TikTok, which includes browsing history, location details, and potentially private messages.

Risk of Propaganda and Censorship: There are concerns that the Chinese government might influence ByteDance to control content on TikTok for propaganda purposes.

While ByteDance has strongly denied these accusations by emphasizing data storage on US servers and compliance with local privacy laws, the US government is still cautious.

Uncertain Future in the Senate

The approval of the bill in the House is a significant step towards a potential prohibition.

However, what will happen next is not certain. The bill now needs to be voted on by the Senate, where the result is uncertain.

Possible Approval and Support from the President: Despite facing resistance from some groups, the bill’s strong bipartisan support in the House implies a chance of approval in the Senate as well.

President Biden has also shown readiness to endorse the legislation if it passes through Congress.

Opponents and Other Options: Some critics of the proposed legislation, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), believe it may lead to censorship and negative economic effects.

The ACLU suggests considering different approaches, such as enhancing data security measures and enforcing stricter content moderation on TikTok.

Read More: Airbnb Bans Indoor Cameras

Effect on Many Users and Businesses

If TikTok were to be banned, it could have a significant impact such as:

Loss of a Well-Liked Platform: More than 170 million Americans use the platform regularly. Banning TikTok would mean users losing access to a popular social media and entertainment platform.

Economic Impact on Businesses: Many small businesses rely on it for advertising and connecting with clients. Companies that use TikTok may find it hard to reach their target audience and could lose money if the app is banned.

There are worries that banning TikTok could affect other Chinese-owned businesses in the US.

ByteDance’s Actions and Talks

ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, is talking to US officials to solve issues about data security.

They suggested different ways to fix the problem, like changing who owns the company or creating a new entity for TikTok in the US.

The talks are still happening as both sides try to find a solution that protects national security and lets TikTok stay in the US.

Increased Attention and Rules

Even if TikTok is not completely banned, it is likely to experience more attention and stricter rules in the United States going ahead.

The next few months will be important in deciding what will happen to TikTok in the US.

Whether there will be a decision on selling off parts of the business or imposing tougher rules, or if the app will be banned entirely, is uncertain.

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Oluchukwu Ikemefuna
Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Oluchukwu Blessing Ikemefuna, a talented content writer from Anambra, Nigeria, found her writing passion in secondary school. Holding a degree in Biological Sciences from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, she specializes in blog writing across technology, finance, healthcare, education, and lifestyle sectors. With strong research and SEO skills, Oluchukwu creates engaging content globally. Her work aims to inspire and engage authentically while driving action. Outside work, she enjoys travel, reading, and movies as she grows as a skilled writer.

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