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US House Set to Ban TikTok Nationwide

Felicia Udeji, Reporting

The US House of Representatives has passed a landmark bill that could see TikTok banned in America.

It would give the social media giant’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, six months to sell its controlling stake or the app would be blocked in the US.

While the bill passed overwhelmingly in a bipartisan vote, it still needs to clear the Senate and be signed by the president to become law.

Lawmakers have long held concerns about China’s influence over TikTok.
TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, founded in 2012.

The Beijing-based firm is registered in the Cayman Islands, and has offices across Europe and the US.

If the bill does manage to secure approval in the Senate, President Joe Biden has promised to sign it as soon as it lands on his desk, which could prompt a diplomatic spat with China.

ByteDance would have to seek approval from Chinese officials to complete a forced divestiture, which Beijing has vowed to oppose. Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the move would “come back to bite the US”.

Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican who co-authored the bill, said the US could not “take the risk of having a dominant news platform in America controlled or owned by a company that is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party”.

Chinese companies are subject to a national security law requiring them to share data with the government on request.

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