TikTok ban bill could be passed as House panel lawmakers vote to proceed

If bill gets passed, legislation would China's ByteDance 165 days to divest from TikTok or face US ban
An undated image of TikTok logo displayed on a mobile screen. — Pixels
An undated image of TikTok logo displayed on a mobile screen. — Pixels

Following the TikTok ban bill green lit by the lawmakers, the US House of Representatives will have deliberations on TikTok ban bill next week.

If the bill gets passed, the legislation would China's ByteDance 165 days to divest from the short video app TikTok or face a comprehensive ban in the US for noncompliance.

Is TikTok being banned in the US?

All of the 50 lawmakers of the Energy and Commerce Committee voted in favour of the legislation, which indicates that the bill has immense potential to decide on the fate of TikTok.

While the chanced are fewer for the legislation being approved by both the Senate and House at a time when the country is heading towards elections. What further dips the possibility is that the President Joe Biden's election campaign joined TikTok last month.

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With TikTok having a user base of around 170 million in the US, the platform came under the fire in 2020 too, when the then US President Donald Trump tried to ban the app but failed.

Steve Scalise, the House Majority Leader, posted on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) that representatives of the House penal will vote next week "to force TikTok to sever their ties with the Chinese Communist party."

The platform, however, was of the view that there's uncertainty if the Chinese government will nod in favour to put the short video platform on sale or divest it within six months. Tiktok claims that it has not and would not share the US users' data with the Chinese government.

"This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States,. The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression. This will damage millions of businesses, deny artists an audience, and destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country," TikTok said after the vote.

It was learned by Reuters that TikTok's US-based users flooded the Capitol Hill with phone calls, urging lawmakers not to vote in favour of the TikTok's ban bill following a warning issues by the app to its users that it could be banned soon.

Representative Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the committee, hopes that the law "will force divestment of TikTok and Americans will be able to continue to use this and other similarly situated platforms without the risk that they are being operated and controlled by our adversaries."