Updated March 13th, 2024 at 20:18 IST

In US, House Passes Bill That May Potentially Lead to Ban on TikTok

The bill's passage in the House sets the stage for a contentious debate in the Senate, where a companion bill is yet to emerge.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
Capitol Hill | Image:AP
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In a significant move, the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill that could force ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok, to divest its ownership of the popular social media app or face a ban in the United States. The bill passed with a resounding 352-65-1 vote, intensifying the standoff over TikTok's future and sending ripples of concern among its millions of American users.

This legislation, introduced just last week, advanced rapidly through the legislative process, with the House Energy and Commerce Committee swiftly endorsing it for consideration by the full House. Despite concerns raised by some lawmakers about the accelerated timeline, the bill garnered broad bipartisan support, underscoring the bipartisan consensus on the need to address perceived national security risks associated with TikTok.

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Here is what you need to know

Before the vote, House lawmakers engaged in a classified briefing with intelligence officials to discuss the bill's national security implications. However, some legislators left the briefing unconvinced, stating that no TikTok-specific concerns were adequately addressed. Representative Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), speaking to a gathering of TikTok creators on Capitol Hill, expressed reservations about the bill's approach, acknowledging the desire for changes in TikTok's ownership but cautioning against the potential impact on American users.

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An uphill road to the Senate?

The bill's passage in the House sets the stage for a contentious debate in the Senate, where a companion bill is yet to emerge. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has signaled opposition, citing constitutional concerns, and any attempt to expedite the bill's consideration in the Senate is likely to face obstacles. However, Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have engaged in discussions with the bill's sponsors, expressing a willingness to explore the legislation's implications.

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India banned TikTok on June 2020. 

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Published March 13th, 2024 at 20:18 IST