TikTok may be banned in the US


On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that could lead to the banning of the popular social video app TikTok in the United States.

The lower House of Congress, which is usually sharply divided along party lines, voted the bill with significant support, with 352 yes votes and 65 no votes. The legislation requires the Chinese owner of the social media site to sell its US subsidiary with 170 million users to an American company within 6 months of its entry into force, otherwise, it will be banned from operating.

According to the bill’s sponsors, the Chinese app poses a national security risk to the United States because its Chinese owner, the tech company ByteDance, is under the influence of the Chinese government and could be forced to hand over its users’ data to the Chinese state at any time under current Chinese law.

After the vote in the House of Representatives, the legislation will go to the upper House, the Senate, whose majority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said on Wednesday that the legislative body will review the law as soon as it arrives, but did not mention details and did not commit, in addition to submitting the legislation to senators for a vote.

Mike Johnson, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, urged the Senate on Wednesday to pass the legislation as soon as possible. President Joe Biden has indicated that he will sign the law if it comes before him.

Donald Trump, the Republicans’ unofficial presidential candidate, expressed reservations about the law. He said he agreed that TikTok posed a national security threat to the United States, but believed that Facebook, which he believed would benefit from a ban on the Chinese social networking site, was equally a national security risk.

If passed, a legal review may delay the entry into force of the TikTok law, and the federal Supreme Court may determine its constitutionality.

Before the bill was voted on, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned American lawmakers in a statement that the legislation could backfire on the United States.

The company ByteDance has protested the bill, which it says is nothing more than a ban. In a statement issued after the approval in the lower house on Wednesday, the company’s spokesperson expressed the hope that the Senate will take into account the interests of about 170 million users and 7 million American small businesses.

The Chinese social video application is already prohibited on US government devices, just as TikTok is not allowed on the IT devices of many federal and state governments.

(Debreceni Nap)

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