Congress to take another swing at potential TikTok ban within aid bill

Washington DC - The House of Representatives will again vote Saturday on a bill that would force TikTok to divest from Chinese parent company ByteDance or face a nationwide ban.

The House of Representatives is set to vote on another potential TikTok ban on Saturday.
The House of Representatives is set to vote on another potential TikTok ban on Saturday.  © Collage: Unsplash/@alexbemore & Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The measure has been written into a massive $61 billion aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, which could ease its passage in both chambers of Congress.

Under the bill, ByteDance would have to sell the app within a few months or be excluded from Apple and Google's app stores in the United States.

It would also give the president the authority to designate other applications as a threat to national security if they are controlled by a country deemed hostile.

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TikTok slammed the bill, saying it would hurt the US economy and undermine free speech.

"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," a company spokesman said.

He added a ban would "trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the US economy annually."

Controversial TikTok ban bill passed through House in March

Western officials have voiced alarm over the popularity of TikTok with young people, alleging that it is subservient to Beijing and a conduit to spread propaganda, claims denied by the company and Beijing.

Joe Biden reiterated his concerns about TikTok during a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in early April.

The House of Representatives last month approved a similar bill cracking down on TikTok, but the measure got held up in the Senate.

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/@alexbemore & Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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