Congress approves bill to ban TikTok in US

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday evening overwhelmingly approved draft legislation that would give ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, a six-month deadline to liquidate US assets of the short video app or face a ban.

The Council approved the bill by a majority of 352 votes to 65 in an unbalanced vote between Republicans and Democrats.

But the bill faces a more uncertain path in the Senate, where some raise security concerns and support a different approach to regulating utilities owned by foreign companies.

“This is an important national security issue,” Republican Rep. Steve Scalise wrote in X. “The Senate must consider and approve this matter.”

The fate of TikTok, which is used by about 170 million Americans, has become a major issue in Washington. Lawmakers said their offices have received a large number of calls from teenage TikTok users protesting the law.

“We want to see the Senate act quickly,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.

For his part, TikTok CEO Xu Zi Qiu explained in a video clip released Wednesday that the law, if passed into law, “would lead to TikTok being banned in the United States…and billions in lost money for creators and small businesses. dollars, and expose 300,000 jobs in America.” America is in danger.

He said the company “will not stop fighting” and will use its legal rights to block the ban.

China's Foreign Ministry criticized the law on Tuesday, saying, “Although the US has never found any evidence that TikTok poses a threat to US national security, it has not stopped pursuing TikTok.”

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It's not yet clear whether China will approve any sale or whether TikTok's US assets will be liquidated within six months.

If ByteDance does not do what the law requires, app stores run by Apple, Google and others cannot legally offer downloads of the TikTok app or provide website hosting services to apps controlled by ByteDance.

It's unclear whether other Chinese apps like WeChat could face a ban under the same law.

TRT Arabic – Agencies

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