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US House passes TikTok ban bill

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday that could compel TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, to sever ties with its Chinese parent company or face a ban in the United States. The bipartisan vote saw 352 representatives in favor and 65 against, reflecting a rare moment of unity in the politically divided landscape of Washington.

This legislation, officially named the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” represents the most significant challenge yet to TikTok’s operations. The app’s meteoric rise in global popularity has been met with growing concerns among governments and security agencies regarding its Chinese ownership and potential alignment with the Communist Party in Beijing.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk, as confirmed by the White House earlier. The proposed law mandates ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to divest the app within 180 days or face removal from major app stores operated by Apple and Google in the US.

Additionally, the bill grants the president authority to identify other applications deemed as national security threats if they are controlled by countries considered adversarial to the interests of the United States.

The move underscores escalating tensions between the US and China, particularly in the realm of technology and national security. Concerns over data privacy and potential influence by foreign governments have prompted lawmakers to take decisive action against apps perceived as risks to American interests.

One notable aspect of this development is the bipartisan support it received, indicating a widespread consensus among lawmakers regarding the urgency of addressing potential threats posed by foreign-controlled applications. This unity reflects a growing recognition of the need to safeguard American interests in an increasingly interconnected digital landscape.

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