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The House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly (352-65) to ban TikTok in the United States. The bill, known as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Advisory Controlled Applications Act,” now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

National Security Concerns

Lawmakers supporting the ban argue that TikTok poses a national security threat because its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China. They claim that Chinese intelligence laws could force ByteDance to hand over data on TikTok’s 170 million U.S. users.

TikTok’s Defense

TikTok has repeatedly denied these claims, stating that user data for U.S. citizens is not accessible to the Chinese government. The app has also moved its U.S. user data to Oracle’s cloud infrastructure to address concerns.

Senate and Presidential Action

The bill now heads to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain. If passed by the Senate, it will land on President Joe Biden’s desk. Biden has indicated he would sign the bill into law, giving TikTok five months to either sell or face a ban in the U.S.

Previous Ban Attempts

This is not the first attempt to ban TikTok in the U.S. Former President Donald Trump tried to do so in 2020, and several states have also attempted bans. However, courts have generally sided with TikTok, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

TikTok’s Lobbying Efforts

TikTok has been actively lobbying against the ban, arguing that it violates free speech rights. The app recently launched a campaign encouraging U.S. users to contact their representatives and oppose the ban.