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US ban TikTok as bill set to be signed by Biden

US ban TikTok as bill set to be signed by Biden

US ban TikTok as bill set to be signed by Biden

US ban TikTok as bill set to be signed by Biden

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  • The legislation grants ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok, with an additional three-month grace period.
  • The US fears that TikTok could be utilized to spy on Americans or propagate propaganda.
  • The app gathers similar data to other apps, which the US has contested.
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The US Senate has approved a bill that could lead to the banning of TikTok in America over national security fears. The bill grants TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, nine months to sell its stake, or the app will face blocking in the United States.

US President Joe Biden, who has stated he will sign it into law as soon as it reaches his desk, will now receive the bill. TikTok has informed the BBC that it does not have an immediate response to the move. Previously, Bytedance stated that it would oppose any attempt to force it to sell TikTok.

“It’s a big deal”, Doug Calidas, a tech expert at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, told the BBC.

“In the period of a few weeks, they managed to pass a law through both chambers which very rarely happens – to see them act so quickly on a matter of public concern.”

If the US successfully forces ByteDance to sell TikTok, any deal would still require approval from Chinese officials – but China has vowed to oppose any such move.

ByteDance’s legal action, likely extending all the way to the Supreme Court, would delay the process, potentially stretching it over several years before the US blocks the app.

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The legislation then grants the company nine months to sell TikTok, with an additional three-month grace period.

There is also the small matter of who would be able to buy and operate it – the price would likely be in the tens of billions – resulting in few potential buyers.

If the app is not sold in time, the country could then block it – the US states this concern arises from worries that TikTok could be used to spy on Americans or spread propaganda.

TikTok gathers similar kinds of data to other apps, but the US worries this data could fall into the hands of the Chinese government – claims the company has always contested.

US politicians may also encounter a public backlash – the app boasts more than 170 million users across the country.

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