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The United States Inches Closer to TikTok Ban

Moving towards a TikTok prohibition in the United States has reached its pinnacle, with the US House of Representatives passing pertinent legislation on Saturday – potentially transforming into law within days.

As disclosed by Android Authority and other sources, the clock is ticking for the short-video and social media platform to sever ties with its Chinese parent company ByteDance within the upcoming six months (with a potential three-month extension) to sustain operations in the US.

For those catching up, the US government’s apprehension lies in ByteDance’s affiliations with Chinese authorities – concerning both user data collection via TikTok and the dissemination of content.

Primarily, it’s TikTok’s connections to China that have ignited national security concerns, rather than the app itself – hence, a ban remains a last resort if TikTok cannot be transferred to another entity. While the app won’t vanish abruptly next week, the new legislation aims to expedite its sale.

“Free speech under threat”
The looming specter of a TikTok ban has lingered since 2020 and the Trump administration. Presently, it’s nearer than ever, with Senate approval and a Biden endorsement anticipated as mere formalities.

TikTok contends that a ban would infringe upon the free speech rights of its 170 million US users. A spokesperson underscored the app’s contribution, amounting to $24 billion (£19.4 billion / AU$37.4 billion), to the US economy.

ByteDance rebuffs accusations of being a puppet of the Chinese government. Efforts have been made to domicile more data on US servers, with 60% of the company now in the hands of global investors.

This development serves as a poignant reminder of the dominance of algorithms in our digital sphere – and the concerns governments harbor regarding their control, both domestically and internationally. For further insights on the potential trajectory, delve into our comprehensive TikTok ban analysis.

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