US Senate passes TikTok divestment-or-ban bill, Biden set to make it law

The US Senate passed a bill requiring ByteDance to divest TikTok's US operations within 270 days

The US Senate passed a bill late Tuesday(23 April) that would ban TikTok in the United States if its owner, the Chinese tech firm ByteDance, fails to divest the popular short video app over the next nine months to a year.

The Chinese foreign ministry criticised the US House of Representatives for passing a bill banning TikTok, arguing the company had never threatened national security.

TikTok, used by 170 million people in the United States, has been removed from the Apple App Store in China due to concerns about Chinese national security.

TikTok, which says it has not shared and would not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government, is set to challenge the bill on First Amendment grounds, and TikTok users are also expected to retake legal action.

The Biden administration would have a stronger legal footing to ban TikTok if ByteDance fails to divest the app, experts say, and would also have new tools to ban or force the sale of other foreign-owned apps.

The bill will require ByteDance to divest TikTok’s US operations within 270 days. Still, a sale would be one of the most complicated and expensive transactions in history, requiring months, if not years, of due diligence.

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