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US again moves to ban TikTok via new bill; what does this mean?

IANS | April 21, 2024 10:39 AM

NEW DELHI: The US House of Representatives has once again passed a new legislation that may lead to a ban on Chinese short-video making platform TikTok in the country.

In March, the House had voted in favour of a bill seeking to ban the popular social media platform TikTok that has more than 170 million users in the US.

The legislation in March required TikTok's parent company ByteDance to divest its stake in the company within 180 days or six months of the enactment of the law. Failure to meet the deadline would bar TikTok from the Apple and Google app stores.

What makes this new bill different?

Instead of a six-month deadline, China-based ByteDance will now have about nine months to divest its stake.

This new deadline can be further extended by the White House for 90 days, reports CNN.

Some key lawmakers who earlier expressed skepticism now extended their support for the bill.

Also, the House Republicans have inserted the new TikTok bill into a much larger foreign aid package.

Rather than asking the Senate to vote on the TikTok bill in isolation, "bundling the bill with foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel makes it much harder for lawmakers to oppose the TikTok measure".

Senators could try to strip out the TikTok legislation but according to policy analysts, it is unlikely. The odds of Senate passage are as high as 80 per cent.

If the Senate votes to approve the TikTok legislation, it will head to President Joe Biden’s approval.

"Biden endorsed the prior version of the TikTok bill, which suggests he may quickly sign any foreign aid package that includes similar language targeting TikTok, " according to the report.

For TikTok, in addition to complying with the legislation, it could also challenge the bill in court.

TikTok CEO, Shou Chew, had said in March to continue fighting, "including exercising our legal rights."

A court challenge could lead to the legislation being temporarily blocked.

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