BREAKING: House Passes Bill That Could Ban TikTok

by State Brief

The House easily passed a bill that could ban TikTok in a 352-65 vote on Wednesday.

The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act would require TikTok’s China-based parent company ByteDance to divest — or be banned from all American app stores and web hosting.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher and Democrat Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Gallager is the Chairman of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, and Krishnamoorthi is a ranking member.

“This is my message to TikTok: break up with the Chinese Communist Party or lose access to your American users,” said Chairman Gallagher. “America’s foremost adversary has no business controlling a dominant media platform in the United States. TikTok’s time in the United States is over unless it ends its relationship with CCP-controlled ByteDance.”

The select committee said in a press release, “The bill creates a process for the President to designate certain, specifically defined social media applications that are subject to the control of a foreign adversary—per Title 10—and pose a national security risk. Designated applications will face a prohibition on app store availability and web hosting services in the U.S. unless they sever ties to entities subject to the control of a foreign adversary through divestment.”

“So long as it is owned by ByteDance and thus required to collaborate with the CCP, TikTok poses critical threats to our national security. Our bipartisan legislation would protect American social media users by driving the divestment of foreign adversary-controlled apps to ensure that Americans are protected from the digital surveillance and influence operations of regimes that could weaponize their personal data against them. Whether it’s Russia or the CCP, this bill ensures the President has the tools he needs to press dangerous apps to divest and defend Americans’ security and privacy against our adversaries,” said Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi.

Former President Donald Trump has opposed the bill, claiming that it would drive up usage of Meta-owned apps like Instagram and Facebook.

TikTok, of course, has also objected to the bill.

“This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason: it’s a ban. We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement, according to a report from The Hill.

The bill will now move to the Senate for a vote.

Biden has said that he will sign the legislation into law if it passes through Congress.

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