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The Senate passes bill that would see TikTok banned if Chinese owners don't sell up

The Senate passes bill that would see TikTok banned if Chinese owners don't sell up

The Senate has passed a bill that could see TikTok banned in the US, if Chinese owner ByteDance doesn't sell it within 12 months.

Senators passed the bill 79 to 18 on Tuesday (23.04.24), days after the House of Representatives held a majority favour in vote of the ban.

President Joe Biden, who previously said he will sign it if it's passed, is expected to do so on Wednesday (24.04.24).

Michael Beckerman, the video-sharing giant's head of public policy in America, has said they plan to challenge the bill in court if Biden signs it.

He told Bloomberg: “This is an unprecedented deal worked out between the Republican Speaker and President Biden. The stage that the bill is signed, we will move to the courts for a legal challenge."

Biden said: "If they pass it, I'll sign it."

TikTok said a ban in the US would "trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans."

It said in a statement: "It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans."

His opponent in the election, Donald Trump - who previously tried to ban the app in 2020 - recently took to his Truth Social platform to say he would be against a ban of TikTok this time because it would allow Facebook to rule.

The former president also believes "kids will go crazy without it".

He said: “There’s a lot of good and there’s a lot of bad [with TikTok].

“There are a lot of people on TikTok that love it. There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it.”

TikTok urged users in America to "let Congress know" that they don't support a nationwide ban on the video-sharing app.

An advert on the app for US users read: “Speak up now — before your government strips 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.

“Let Congress know what TikTok means to you and tell them to vote NO.”

Fears were raised about the owners of the app potentially sharing information with the Chinese government.

TikTok’s parent company has repeatedly denied claims the Chinese government has access to user data of the app - which is very popular among teenagers and those in their 20s - and has called it “unfounded speculation”.

Already more than half of US states and the federal government have disallowed TikTok from state-issued devices either completely or partially. Similar policies have been introduced in the Netherlands, the UK and the European Commission.

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