Bipartisan US bill could force ByteDance to divest TikTok

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers wants Chinese tech firm ByteDance to divest TikTok or face a ban.
Bipartisan US bill could force ByteDance to divest TikTok
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A group of US lawmakers has introduced a bill that would require Chinese tech giant ByteDance to sell off the popular video-sharing TikTok app within six months or face a ban.

For years American officials have raised concerns that data from the app could fall into the hands of the Chinese government.

A bipartisan set of 19 lawmakers introduced the legislation on Tuesday.

TikTok called the bill a disguised “outright ban”.

In a statement announcing the bill, the lawmakers said “applications like TikTok that are controlled by foreign adversaries pose an unacceptable risk to US national security”.

The bill would give ByteDance 165 days to divest, or it would be blocked from the app store and web hosting platforms in the US.

“This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs,” TikTok said in a statement to the BBC.

TikTok has previously argued against divestment, saying a change in ownership would not impose new restrictions on data use.

TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the US, especially among younger people.

This is the latest attempt by US lawmakers to place restriction on the app.

Senators introduced legislation to block the app last year, but the move stalled after lobbying from the company.

Former President Donald Trump tried to ban the application completely in 2020, though the move was also unsuccessful.

The application is also banned on government devices, though President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign made an account last month.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee said it would consider the latest bill on Thursday.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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