The House is expected to vote on a bill that could ban TikTok

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The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that could lead to a nationwide ban against TikTok, a major challenge to one of the world’s most popular social media apps.
The bill would prohibit TikTok from US app stores unless the social media platform — used by roughly 170 million Americans — is spun off from its China-linked parent company, ByteDance.
TikTok is fighting back and calling the legislation an attack on the constitutional right to freedom of expression for its users.
It launched a call-to-action campaign within the app, urging users to call representatives in Washington to oppose the bill.
The bill would give ByteDance roughly five months to sell TikTok.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who support the bill have argued that it is not a ban.
In recent comments to reporters, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, who chairs a House select committee on China, rejected characterizations of the bill as a TikTok ban.
“It puts the choice squarely in the hands of TikTok to sever their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
“This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States,” the company wrote in a post on X.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday would not commit to holding a vote on the House’s TikTok bill, underscoring the uncertainty over what will happen if the House passes the bill as expected.

On Wednesday, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill that may result in a nationwide prohibition against TikTok, posing a serious threat to one of the most widely used social media apps worldwide.

The bill forbids TikTok from appearing in US app stores unless the 170 million-user social media platform spins out from its parent company, ByteDance, which is connected to China.

TikTok, according to lawmakers who support the bill, could be used by the Chinese government to enforce its intelligence laws against ByteDance, forcing the latter to turn over user data for US apps.

However, there are political winds blowing from several directions that are making the effort difficult. Former President Donald Trump, who once supported outlawing the platform, has since changed his mind, and Democrats are under pressure from young progressives who still favor TikTok as their social media platform of choice. The upcoming vote has elicited strong reactions from TikTok creators and Beijing, with China’s foreign ministry denouncing it as a “act of bullying.”. “.

It is expected to pass with broad bipartisan support because the measure is being put to a vote under an expedited procedure that calls for a two-thirds majority for passage. What will happen to the legislation in the Senate is still unknown.

Retaliating, TikTok describes the legislation as an assault on its users’ constitutional right to free speech. Within the app, it started a call-to-action campaign asking users to contact their representatives in Washington to voice opposition to the bill. Numerous congressional offices have reported an overwhelming volume of calls.

ByteDance would have approximately five months under the bill to sell TikTok. It would be against the law for the owners of app stores, like Apple and Google, to allow downloads if they hadn’t divested by then.

Sen. Joe Biden has stated that he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk. The measure passed unanimously out of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee in an unusual display of bipartisanship.

The vote may put some Republicans in an uncomfortable spot, however, given Trump’s opposition.

Trump rebuffs the suggestion to outlaw TikTok.

Despite occasionally seeming to send contradictory signals with his rhetoric, Trump seems to have retreated from his support for calls to outlaw the app when he was president.

Last week, in an attack on Facebook and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, calling them the “Enemy of the People,” Trump voiced his opposition to a ban on TikTok, claiming that Facebook would gain if the app were removed. “.

Trump continued to argue that eliminating TikTok would help Facebook in an interview with CNBC on Monday, saying that it was a “tough decision” and that he believed “Facebook has been very bad for our country.”. “.

“You have that problem with Facebook and lots of other companies too,” Trump remarked, acknowledging that while he believed TikTok posed a threat to US national security, he also acknowledged that many users genuinely enjoyed the app. “.

Trump remarked, “You know, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad with TikTok.”.

Supporters of the bill from both parties have maintained that it is not a ban.

Recently, Republican Representative from Wisconsin said to reporters… The head of a House committee on China, Mike Gallagher, disagreed with claims that the bill outlaws TikTok.

He said, “It’s not a ban.”. The decision to break ties with the Chinese Communist Party falls entirely on TikTok. TikTok can stay in business as long as ByteDance does not own a majority stake in it. There must be a change in the fundamental ownership structure. “.

Congressmen’s assertions that the bill would give the app options have been refuted by TikTok.

“A complete ban on TikTok in the United States is the predetermined outcome of this legislation,” the company stated in a post on X. The Constitutional right to free expression is being attempted to be taken away from 170 million Americans by the government. Millions of businesses will suffer, artists won’t get an audience, and innumerable creators’ livelihoods will be destroyed nationwide as a result. “.

Shou Chew, the CEO of TikTok, has tried to set up last-minute meetings with Congressmen. Additionally, the business accused several House lawmakers in letters sent on Monday of misrepresenting TikTok’s call-to-action campaign, claiming that it is “offensive” for legislators to discount the opinions of constituents who have deluged congressional offices with phone calls.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer did not pledge to hold a vote on the House’s TikTok bill, highlighting the ambiguity surrounding the outcome of the bill’s expected passage in the House.

He said, “Let’s see what the House does.”. “I plan to confer with the chairmen of the pertinent committees to ascertain their perspectives. “.

Further details have been added to this story.

Lauren Fox, Morgan Rimmer, and Kate Sullivan of CNN contributed.

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