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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

America Is Working to Ban TikTok: China's Sell of the App to the United States Can Prevent This, Yet Americans Are Protesting


According to NBC NewsThe House voted Wednesday to pass legislation that could ban TikTok in the U.S. as Republicans and Democrats alike sound the alarm that the popular video-sharing app, owned by a China-based company, is a national security threat. The vote was 352-65, with one member, Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, voting present. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain fate, and there appears to be less urgency to act. 


According to The New York Times, the Biden administration's push to persuade lawmakers that Chinese ownership of the platform poses grave national security risks to the United States, including the ability to meddle in elections, is the reason for the ban proposal. America is essentially asking China to sell the app; their refusal may invoke the ban. TikTok sent messages to its users, asking them to contact their U.S. representatives to fight against the potential law change.


YouTube Screenshot/France24

What does this mean for the app's 1 billion users, especially those who have grown their businesses or popularity from their viral videos? If a ban goes through, users will have to rely on other platforms to promote their brands and potentially lose their existing content and followers. Platforms such as Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat could be viable alternatives, but the transition may be challenging for some. However, it's worth noting that TikTok has become a popular means of promotion for up-and-coming users, and this ban could significantly disrupt their growth, income and opportunities. However, most TikTok users also utilize other social media apps, so the natural shift in traffic to different platforms from losing this app may not have as harsh of an impact as expected. [This is a significant concern for users who have built their online presence on TikTok, and it's important to understand that the transition to other platforms may not be seamless.] 


Americans are protesting the possible legislative change. Despite this year's Presidential election, it's unclear how long it may take for this bill to be enacted. However, if the bill gets approved by Congress, the clock will start as soon as Biden signs it into law. As its currently written, once the bill becomes law, ByteDance would have six months to sell TikTok. If ByteDance refuses, TikTok would be illegal to download on U.S. app stores. 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. TikTok has repeatedly denied these allegations, according to King 5.


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