House Passes Bill That Would Lead to a TikTok Ban if Chinese Owner Doesn’t Sell, Senate Path Unclear

Associated Press - March 14, 2024 5:50 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would lead to a nationwide ban of the popular video app TikTok if its China-based owner doesn’t sell, as lawmakers acted on concerns that the company’s current ownership structure is a national security threat.

The bill, passed by a vote of 352-65, now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear.

TikTok, which has more than 150 million American users, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese technology firm ByteDance Ltd.

The lawmakers contend that ByteDance is beholden to the Chinese government, which could demand access to the data of TikTok’s consumers in the U.S. any time it wants. The worry stems from a set of Chinese national security laws that compel organizations to assist with intelligence gathering.

“We have given TikTok a clear choice,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. “Separate from your parent company ByteDance, which is beholden to the CCP (the Chinese Communist Party), and remain operational in the United States, or side with the CCP and face the consequences. The choice is TikTok’s.”

 

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