US TikTok’s future in jeopardy as Biden signs ban bill: What’s next? | Commentary news

The US Senate overwhelmingly approves a bill that would ban TikTok unless Chinese owner ByteDance exits the video-sharing app within nine months, amid growing concerns that TikTok poses a national security threat. did.

TikTok denied the Chinese government could access users’ data and called the bill, passed by a vote of 79 to 18, unconstitutional.invoice It accompanied measures to provide a $95 billion emergency aid package to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

President Joe Biden said he would sign the bill on Wednesday.

What do we know about the TikTok ban and what will happen next?

Why is TikTok banned? How will it affect TikTok?

ByteDance acquired popular karaoke app Musical.ly and relaunched it as TikTok in 2017. It is one of the fastest growing apps in the US, with 150 monthly subscribers, more than half of whom are between the ages of 18 and 34. In 2023, the platform boasted more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and $120 billion in revenue, of which $16 billion came from the United States.

The app’s growing influence has drawn the attention of spy agencies and U.S. lawmakers who have expressed concerns that TikTok might share user data with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but the company has It denies that claim. Some say this data could be used by China. Spreading misinformation that can undermine democratic processes.

“For years, we allowed the Chinese Communist Party to control one of America’s most popular apps. That was dangerously shortsighted,” said the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Sen. Marco Rubio said. “New law will require apps to be sold to Chinese owners. This is a good move for America.”

In December 2022, the U.S. Congress banned the use of federally issued apps on any device or network. Several other countries have followed suit, imposing restrictions on the use of TikTok in government agencies. India banned the app, which had 200 million subscribers, in 2020 following border skirmishes.

The widely popular app has been accused of pushing pro-Palestinian content, a claim the company denies. TikTok’s young U.S. users (ages 16 to 24) make up 60% of its users and identify with Palestine, the company announced last November.

TikTok executives have been criticized in multiple Congressional hearings. Last March, the company’s CEO Shou Zi Chew assured lawmakers that TikTok was taking steps to protect user data.

The company is also investing $1.5 billion to store TikTok in the US, and US-based multinational company Oracle will provide cloud and storage services for the project. It also took steps to separate its U.S. operations from its Chinese parent company.

China’s Foreign Ministry said the US claims were not supported by evidence and the ban would undermine fair competition. Several Chinese tech companies have been placed on a US blacklist as a war over the internet and technology erupts between the US and Chinese governments.

Apple announced last week that the Chinese government had ordered Metaplatforms’ WhatsApp and Threads to be removed from China’s App Store, citing China’s national security concerns.

If ByteDance declines to sell the company, apps will lose access to app stores, web hosting, and network providers.

TikTok will continue to operate in the United States until the nine-month deadline. The President of the United States can grant an additional 90-day extension if the company is deemed to be in compliance with the conditions set forth in the law.

What can you do with TikTok now?

TikTok can operate in the United States, but for now its executives and lawyers will have to fight on legal grounds.

“This unconstitutional law bans TikTok and we will challenge it in court. We believe the facts and law are clearly on our side and that ultimately we will prevail.” “In fact, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and protect our platform from outside influence and manipulation,” TikTok said. statement on wednesday.

TikTok plans to challenge the bill on First Amendment grounds, and TikTok users are also expected to take legal action again. In November, a U.S. judge in Montana blocked the state’s ban on TikTok on free speech grounds. The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech under the First Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union said calls for TikTok to be banned or divested “would set an alarming global precedent for excessive government control over social media platforms…If the United States bans foreign-owned platforms now… This will likely lead to imitative measures by other countries.”

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said the bill “gives broad powers that could be abused by future administrations to violate the First Amendment rights of Americans.” He said he was concerned about this.

In 2020, former US President Donald Trump attempted to legislate his own ban on TikTok, but reversed his efforts by banning the popular social media app while campaigning for a second term. . On Monday, President Trump posted on his Truth Social platform: “I want everyone, especially young people, to know: Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok.”

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