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US lawmakers unveil bipartisan bid to ban China’s TikTok

tiktok ban in us
As lawmakers launch a bipartisan effort to block the app due to concerns about spying and censorship, TikTok may be banned in the US.

TikTok has been under increased scrutiny in the US in recent weeks, following the previous Trump administration’s failed attempt to outlaw the Chinese video-sharing software.

In response to US concerns that the app may be used to censor material and spy on Americans, Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday unveiled bipartisan legislation to outlaw the popular social media app TikTok from China. The announcement increased pressure on the program’s owner ByteDance.

A companion bill in the US House of Representatives was sponsored by Republican congressman Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, according to a news release from Rubio’s office. The legislation would block all transactions from any social media company based in or influenced by China and Russia.

A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement that it was “troubling that some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States,” adding that the company would continue to update lawmakers on the plans that are “well underway” to “further secure our platform in the United States.”

The bill was introduced as TikTok has been under increased scrutiny in Washington in recent weeks following the Trump administration’s failed attempt to outlaw the video-sharing app.

TikTok’s US activities create national security issues, according to FBI Director Chris Wray, who raised the issue at a hearing last month. He noted the possibility that the Chinese government may use it to influence users or take control of their devices.

Due to worries about national security, Alabama and Utah on Monday joined other US states in outlawing the use of TikTok on state government computers and smartphones.

Then-President Donald Trump tried to prevent new users from downloading TikTok and to forbid other transactions that would have effectively prohibited the usage of the applications in the United States in 2020, but he was unable in doing so after losing several legal battles.

Because of concerns that US user data would be transferred to China’s communist government, the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a significant national security body, ordered ByteDance to divest from TikTok in 2020.

In order to secure the data of TikTok’s more than 100 million users, CFIUS and TikTok have been in negotiations for months.

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