Senate Passes Bill Requiring Sale of TikTok

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A bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday mandates the sale of TikTok by its Chinese owner, ByteDance, or faces a potential ban. The legislation, focused on national security concerns due to TikTok’s Chinese connections, is expected to be promptly signed into law by President Biden.

National Security Concerns

Lawmakers and security experts have raised alarms about the potential risks associated with TikTok’s Chinese ownership. There are fears that the Chinese government could leverage ByteDance to access sensitive data from TikTok’s 170 million U.S. users or influence through propaganda.

Provisions of the Bill

The proposed law allows TikTok to continue operating in the U.S. if ByteDance sells it within 270 days, with a possible extension to a year at the discretion of the president. However, the process is expected to be complex, facing legal challenges and potential opposition from Beijing, which could impede the sale or technology export.

Challenges and Future Uncertainties

The sale of TikTok could be a prolonged and intricate process, with legal disputes and uncertainties surrounding potential buyers and the hefty price tag attached. The situation may persist for months or even years, during which TikTok is likely to remain accessible to U.S. users.

“It’s going to be a royal mess,” remarked Anupam Chander, a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Institute for Rebooting Social Media and an expert on global technology regulation.

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