Daily Management Review

The US Government Is Attempting To Outlaw TikTok- Here’s Why


The US Government Is Attempting To Outlaw TikTok- Here’s Why
A plan that would have given TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance, approximately a year to sell up the U.S. assets of the short-video app or risk a statewide ban was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday. The Senate will now consider it, and in the upcoming days, a vote on it may be held.
This article examines the attempt to outlaw the app, its prospects of passing the US Senate, and the implications of doing so.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told a House of Representatives intelligence committee hearing in March that U.S. authorities fear Beijing may use TikTok to influence the 2024 U.S. elections since the social media app's management is controlled by the Chinese government.
TikTok is accused of posing a national security concern by numerous U.S. senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as the Biden administration, due to China's potential to force the firm to reveal the data of its 170 million American users.
Because ByteDance is based in Beijing, the Department of Justice has alerted Congress to the dangers that "foreign governments like the PRC (China) that are known for their surveillance and censorship" pose to American users of TikTok.
The measure is the most recent in a line of actions addressing national security issues, and it comes during an election year when many politicians do not want to be perceived as soft on China.
Concerns regarding TikTok have been brought up by representatives of both political parties, along with other matters such as linked cars, sophisticated AI chips, and cranes at American ports.
However, a large number of younger voters are against the ban since they use the app to monitor politics and voice their opinions. When President Joe Biden's reelection campaign joined TikTok earlier this year, business executives thought that this year's legislation would be unlikely.
With strong bipartisan support, the bill was enacted by a vote of 360 to 58 as part of a $95 billion legislative package that includes gives Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine security assistance.
The legislation that was submitted on March 5 by Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, the senior Democrat, and Republican Mike Gallagher, the chair of the House of Representatives' select China committee, is what led to Saturday's TikTok action.
Democratic Representative Ro Khanna is one of the critics. He told ABC News on Sunday that he thought a TikTok ban might not hold up in court, citing the Constitution's provisions for free speech.
Several well-known Democrats in the House, including as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, and Pramila Jayapal, voted against the bill.
"There are serious antitrust and privacy questions here, and any national security concerns should be laid out to the public prior to a vote," Ocasio-Cortez said at the time.
Should the bill pass the Senate in its current form and be signed into law by Biden, ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, would have around nine months to sell the short-video app's U.S. assets. If the president was to assess the level of work towards a sale, the deadline may be extended by three months.
It's uncertain if TikTok's US assets could be sold in that time frame, or if China would authorise any transaction at all.
In the event that ByteDance was unable to fulfil this obligation, TikTok and web hosting services for ByteDance-controlled applications could not be lawfully offered in app stores run by Apple, Alphabet's Google, and others.
The prohibition should theoretically make it harder for Americans to access TikTok, if not impossible.
In June 2020, TikTok and several other applications created by Chinese developers were banned by India on the grounds that they would jeopardise the integrity and security of the country. November 2023 saw the app's suspension by the Nepali government.
Several nations have outlawed TikTok from being used on federally owned equipment, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
The House-passed TikTok measure has a strong chance of passing the Senate since it is attached to several of the Senate's major objectives, such as funding for Israel and Ukraine.
Maria Cantwell, the chair of the Senate's commerce committee, who will be crucial to the Senate's next action, endorsed the most recent bill. She had already requested that the House amend some passages in the March 13 measure.