We all know that TikTok’s short-form video format has exploded in popularity, with over 170 million users in the US alone. You will be surprised to know that this addictive platform for entertainment and discovery is owned by a Chinese tech giant, “ByteDance.” Unfortunately, this Chinese ownership has sparked national security concerns in the West, with some tenseness about data privacy influenced by the Chinese government.

From that point, this tension reached a boiling point as the US House of Representatives passed a bill with bipartisan support. According to that bill, it would force TikTok to sell itself off to ByteDance or either face a strict ban. And such hearing shocked a lot of TikTok enthusiasts to think about it. But some users have numerous misconceptions regarding it. So, let’s understand everything about it.

Why is the US House approaching a potential ban?

Behind the ban on anything, the major reason is a security concern. Similar things apply here, as national security concerns surround TikTok’s data collection practices due to its Chinese ownership of ByteDance. The main crux is that there is a possible chance of compromising user data, including location, browsing history, and even biometric identifiers, which can be accessed by the Chinese government.

However, there is no concrete evidence that TikTok has handed over user data; US lawmakers are expecting it. But Senator Marco Rubio said, “TikTok is not just a harmless app for sharing funny videos; in fact, it is owned by a Beijing-controlled company that can trace your location, capture your keystrokes, and even monitor your content. There is a straight possibility that this data could end up in the hands of a Chinese communist party.

What Does the US House of Representatives’ Bill Say?

From the above section, you get a clear view of why there is a need for a potential ban on TikTok. But to avoid a ban, the US House bill proposes that ByteDance sell TikTok’s US operations to an American company. The aim of this bill is to sever the link between the TikTok app and Chinese tech giant “ByteDance.” According to the bill, ByteDance has six months to complete the sale.

However, alongside that proposal, legal challenges could cloud the process. I mean, such a forced sale of TikTok raises questions about the fair market value and the chances that it could be contested by ByteDance. Additionally, finding a US buyer willing and able to handle such a complex deal within the six-month time frame might be difficult. But it seems great how strategically US House tackles such an app.

What’s the future scope of TikTok in the US?

See that the House of Representatives bill has been sent to the United States Senate for consideration. On the other side, the House vote displayed bipartisan support for addressing national security concerns; the Senate’s path is less certain. However, some Senators have expressed a desire for action, and there seems to be a sense that the Senate will move more cautiously than the US House.

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For this reason, it leaves the future of TikTok in the US hanging. If the bill passes and a sale is not completed within the timeframe, a ban could lead to millions of American users losing access to the platform. Additionally, it can influence job losses at TikTok US, which could happen during a potential sale or restructuring.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, TikTok’s vibrant popularity in the US, with over 170 million users, clashes with national security concerns due to its ownership by the Chinese company ByteDance. The fear is that user data could be accessed by the Chinese government. The US House responded with a bill proposing a forced sale of TikTok’s US operations to avoid a ban. While the House vote showed strong support, the bill’s future in the Senate is uncertain. This ongoing debate could result in a sale, a ban impacting millions of users, or potentially even legal challenges.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. Why is there concern about TikTok’s data collection?

Possibility: The Chinese government could access user data collected by TikTok and potentially use it for espionage or influence operations.

Q2. Is there evidence user data has been misused?

Ans. No, there is no concrete evidence that TikTok has handed over user data to the Chinese government.

Q3. What happens if TikTok is banned?

Ans. It could lead to millions of American users losing access to the platform, and potential job losses at TikTok US could occur.

Q4. Did the house pass the TikTok ban?

Ans. The bill has passed and will accordingly come into force if the conditions mentioned in it are not fulfilled.