./uploads/advanced-cache.php TikTok Vs the United States: Ban looming?

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TikTok Vs the United States: Ban looming?

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that could potentially ban Tiktok if the parent company Bytedance does not divest from the company.


Ever since 19 US lawmakers pushed forward a bill on Thursday that could potentially ban the popular Chinese short-video app “TikTok” nationwide and on all devices, US has now moved a step closer to banning TikTok after the House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday demanding ByteDance, the app’s Chinese developer, to either divest from the company or face expulsion from US app stores.

The bipartisan consensus was resounding as the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act sailed through with an impressive 352 votes in favour, while encountering only 65 dissenting voices against the decision.

Numerous House legislators contend that the application could potentially serve as a conduit for the Chinese government to access user data, while also wielding influence over Americans through the captivating and highly-addictive algorithms of this immensely popular social media platform. Expressing support for the initiative, the White House has thrown its weight behind the proposed legislation, with President Joe Biden affirming his readiness to sign it after it navigates through Congress successfully.

Yet, diverging from this stance are a substantial portion of TikTok’s 170 million American users, who encompasses nearly half the nation’s population, along with various civil liberties and digital rights advocacy groups. They argue vehemently against a ban, citing concerns over encroachments upon freedom of expression.

In the interim, the bill encounters numerous obstacles, foremost among them being its passage through the US Senate, the esteemed upper echelon of the nation’s legislative apparatus. The road ahead remains dicey with complexities, as bipartisan scrutiny awaits the legislation, alongside the possibility of competing versions of a prohibition measure vying for attention and support.

TikTok’s response

Despite TikTok’s persistent denial of the allegations, its efforts to sway US lawmakers have proven largely ineffective. “ByteDance is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government. It is a private company,,” stated TikTok CEO Shou Chew during his congressional testimony in March despite the fact that the Chinese government owns 1 percent stake in ByteDance and controls one of three board members.

Although he held the belief that TikTok’s threat to national security is overstated, Marco Rubio, the Republican vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, offered a contrasting perspective. During a recent annual hearing on “worldwide threat assessments,” Rubio articulated his concerns by asserting that “every company in China is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, including Bytedance”

Countries that already banned Tiktok

TikTok finds itself under intense scrutiny not only within the confines of the US but also faces outright bans in countries such as India and Nepal. Moreover, various governmental bodies and nations, including Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, the UK, and EU governing entities, have all taken decisive measures to prohibit the app’s usage on government devices. Meanwhile, in a wavering stance, Pakistan and Indonesia have deliberated over the extent of restrictions imposed on TikTok.

The European Union, known for its robust stance against tech giants such as Apple and Meta from Silicon Valley, has now set its sights on TikTok. In a move echoing its past interventions, the EU initiated a formal investigation into TikTok’s operations in February. This investigation aims to delve into concerns regarding content, advertising practices, and the app’s potentially harmful effects on minors. Notably, the EU has already levied a hefty fine of $370 million against TikTok for breaching privacy regulations, signaling a significant challenge ahead for the social media platform.

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