United States

Biden Signs Law To Ban TikTok If ByteDance Fails To Divest: What You Need to Know

Amid escalating tensions between the US and China, President Biden has signed a law compelling TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, to divest the app within a year or face a ban, sparking legal and geopolitical uncertainties.

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TikTok Faces Ban In US Photo: Getty Images
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President Joe Biden has signed a foreign aid package that includes legislation aiming to ban TikTok if its China-based parent company, ByteDance, fails to divest the app within a year. The law is now in effect, setting a deadline for ByteDance to make necessary arrangements. Initially, the company has nine months to secure a deal, with the possibility of a three-month extension if substantial progress is observed.

Despite facing potential delay in the Senate after passing in the House as a standalone bill, strategic political maneuvers facilitated its passage to Biden's desk. The House combined the TikTok bill, which extended the divestment timeline from the original six months, with foreign aid to US allies. This bundling tactic compelled the Senate to consider both measures collectively. The extended divestment period also garnered support from some previously hesitant lawmakers.

TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek stated that the company intends to contest the law in court, potentially prolonging the timeline if courts postpone enforcement while the legal matter is resolved. There's also uncertainty regarding China's response and whether it would permit ByteDance to sell TikTok, particularly its valuable algorithm crucial for user engagement.

“As we continue to challenge this unconstitutional ban, we will continue investing and innovating to ensure TikTok remains a space where Americans of all walks of life can safely come to share their experiences, find joy, and be inspired,” Haurek said.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew emphasized in a video posted on TikTok Wednesday that this is indeed a ban, refuting assertions from some lawmakers who claim their aim is merely to disconnect the platform from Chinese ownership.

“Make no mistake, this is a ban. A ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice,” Chew stated.

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