The U.S. House of Representatives passee a bill to spin off TikTok from ByteDance

Communication Author: EqualOcean News, Sun Chang Mar 08, 2024 11:39 PM (GMT+8)

In the early morning of March 8, China time, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill requiring ByteDance to divest the short video application TikTok with a unanimous vote of 50 to 0. The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, chairman of the House Select Committee on China, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, the committee’s top Democrat.


Under the bill, ByteDance would be forced to sell TikTok within six months or face a U.S. ban. The ban will cause Apple, Google and other app stores to stop providing TikTok's web hosting services, and TikTok will also be unable to do business with other American companies. However, the bill allows legal proceedings to be instituted within 165 days of coming into effect.

Once the bill was introduced, TikTok launched a counterattack along with its users. Whenever a user opens the TikTok app, a message pops up calling to prevent TikTok from being shut down and encouraging users to express their opposition to members of Congress. There is also a button option below the message to place a call to the representative.

Attempts to ban TikTok in the United States date back to 2020 during President Trump's administration, but relevant executive orders or bills have either been put on hold or blocked by courts. Last year, the Biden administration required TikTok parent ByteDance to sell its shares or ban the app. The White House also supported Senate legislation that would have given the White House more power to ban TikTok and other foreign apps that pose a "national security threat," but the proposal ultimately failed to pass.

TikTok has said many times before that the platform does not share U.S. user data with the Chinese government and will not do so. The company said, "This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban on TikTok in the United States. The government is trying to deprive 170 million Americans of their constitutional right to free speech. This will damage millions of businesses, deny artists an audience, and destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country."

The bill will need to go through a lengthy legal process before it becomes official law. Next, the bill will be submitted to the full House of Representatives for consideration. If passed, it will be further submitted to the Senate for consideration. If both chambers approve the bill, it will be sent to President Joe Biden, whose administration has expressed support for the bill.