From the blog

TIKTOK BAN: US Lawmakers Vote To Ban App In America

American politicians are being inundated with calls from TikTok users unhappy at plans to force its parent company to sell the social media app. A bill that would mandate the sale within six months or see TikTok facing a ban was approved by a US congressional panel last week.

China has attacked a bill accusing the US of “unjustly” behaving like a “bandit”.

The bill passed by the House of Representatives would give TikTok’s parent company six months to divest from the firm or face a ban on the app. It still faces an uphill battle in the Senate, but President Joe Biden says he will sign it if it passes Congress.

Beijing has vowed to take” necessary measures” to protect its interests. TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, a Beijing-based firm registered in the Cayman Islands.

US lawmakers have expressed concern about the app, saying the data of Americans potentially in Chinese hands makes it a national security risk. TikTok’s owners have rejected those accusations.

In a rare show of bipartisanship on Wednesday, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill, with 352 representatives voting in favour of the proposed law and 65 against.

It is unclear whether the bill has enough support to pass the US Senate. It’s also possible that the bill will never come up for a vote, leaving the current status quo in place.

Republican Donald Trump has said he is now opposed, having previously backed a ban.

After its passage in the House, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said in a video posted on TikTok and on X that the bill would take “billions of dollars out of the pockets of creators and small businesses”.

“It will also put more than 300,000 American jobs at risk and it will take away your TikTok.”

TikTok is banned in China along with other social media platforms. Instead, Chinese users use a similar app, Douyin, which is only available in China and subject to monitoring and censorship by the government.

Canada’s government has also revealed that a national security review of TikTok’s planned expansion in the country that quietly began in September is ongoing.

Today, TikTok’s reach, and advertising revenue have increased significantly, leading to an estimated valuation of $268bn.