House panel unanimously approves bill that could ban TikTok

Washington CNN — House lawmakers voted to advance a bill that would ban TikTok from US app stores unless the social media platform’s parent, ByteDance, divests the company.

The measure passed unanimously by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday reflects renewed bipartisan efforts to respond to national security concerns linked to the popular app.

The draft legislation would prohibit TikTok from US app stores unless the social media platform — used by roughly 170 million Americans — is quickly spun off from its China-linked parent company, ByteDance.

If enacted, the bill would give ByteDance 165 days, or a little more than five months, to sell TikTok. If not divested by that date, it would be illegal for app store operators such as Apple and Google to make it available for download. The bill also contemplates similar prohibitions for other apps “controlled by foreign adversary companies.”

It’s the most aggressive legislation targeting TikTok to come out of a congressional committee since company CEO Shou Chew testified to lawmakers last year that the app poses no threat to Americans.

“Today, we will take the first step in creating long-overdue laws to protect Americans from the threat posed by apps controlled by our adversaries, and to send a very strong message that the US will always stand up for our values and freedom,” said Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the panel’s chair.

R/I ~ AA


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