TikTok Faces New Threat from US Lawmakers

A group of US lawmakers, from both parties, has proposed a law to force ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to sell the app in the US within six months or face a ban. This comes as concerns about national security due to TikTok’s Chinese ownership persist. It’s the first significant move in nearly a year, following last year’s failed attempt to ban TikTok in the Senate, which met resistance due to strong lobbying efforts.

The bill, brought forward by Representative Mike Gallagher, the Republican chair of the House of Representatives’ select China committee, and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, a leading Democrat, is up for an initial vote on Thursday.

Under the proposed legislation, ByteDance would have 165 days to sell TikTok, a platform with over 170 million American users. If it fails to do so, major app stores like Apple and Google would be prohibited from providing TikTok or web hosting services to apps controlled by ByteDance.

Gallagher underscored the importance of national security, stating, “My message to TikTok is clear: sever ties with the Chinese Communist Party or risk losing access to American users.”

TikTok responded by calling the bill a ban, expressing concerns about its potential impact on First Amendment rights and small businesses.

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