House Passes Potential TikTok Ban: 3 Key Quotes

ByteDance would need to divest from the app or see it banned in the US
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2024 10:09 AM CDT
House Passes Potential TikTok Ban: 3 Key Quotes
People work inside the TikTok building in Culver City, California, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A bill that could see TikTok banned in the US if its Chinese owner doesn't sell the app passed the House as expected on Wednesday, with a vote of 352-65. It now goes to the Senate, where its fate is less certain; Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hasn't yet committed to taking the bill to the floor. President Biden has said he'll sign the bill if it makes it through Congress. Nearly half of all Americans use TikTok, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese firm ByteDance. If the bill were to pass and be signed into law, ByteDance would have 165 days to divest from the social media app or see it banned in US app stores and by web hosting services.

The AP describes lawmakers' concerns: "that ByteDance is beholden to the Chinese government, which could demand access to the data of TikTok's consumers in the US any time it wants. The worry stems from a set of Chinese national security laws that compel organizations to assist with intelligence gathering." Standout quotes from the bill's passage:

  • From GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: "We have given TikTok a clear choice. Separate from your parent company ByteDance, which is beholden to the CCP [the Chinese Communist Party], and remain operational in the United States, or side with the CCP and face the consequences. The choice is TikTok's."
  • From Democrat Nancy Pelosi, per NBC News: This is "not an attempt to ban TikTok. It's an attempt to make TikTok better. Tic-tac-toe—a winner, a winner."
  • From Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, per the Guardian: "I have more insight than most into the online threats posed by our adversaries. But one of the key differences between us and those adversaries is the fact that they shut down newspapers, broadcast stations, and social media platforms. We do not. We trust our citizens to be worthy of their democracy."
(More TikTok stories.)

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